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Bioabsorbable metal stents are being developed to mitigate the long-term side effects associated with corrosion-resistant stents. A decade-long research with iron (Fe)- and magnesium (Mg)-based stent materials has concluded with little success. Fe produces a voluminous, retained oxide product in the arterial wall, whereas Mg and its alloys corrode too rapidly. A breakthrough in the field of biodegradable metallic stents was made in 2013 in our research team (Drs. Goldman – Biomedical Engineering and Drelich – Materials Science and Engineering) with the introduction of zinc (Zn) and its alloys, which are free of the flaws observed for Fe- and Mg-based alloys. Zinc metal can be alloyed to improve mechanical properties. A benign neointima layer forms around zinc implants in the rat artery with suppression of harmful cell populations, out to ~1 year. Based on encouraging results, we are proceeding to manufacture and testing of zinc cardiovascular stents in pigs.


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering

Biodegradable zinc vascular implant materials



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