In recent years, stents have come to play an essential role in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. A stent typically has mesh-like walls in a tubular shape, and once positioned by a catheter, is expanded radially by the inflation of an angioplasty balloon. However, re-closures often occur due to recoil of the blood vessels, further plaque deposition, or spasms. Despite advances in implantable devices and wireless monitoring methods, the implementation and deployment of such devices is complicated by the presence of the thin-film inductor necessary for passive telemetry.
Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a stent, which maintains the luminal patency while monitoring intraluminal characteristics such as blood pressure or flow. The stent device incorporates one or more integrated antennas for telemetric communication of signals developed by one or more sensors. The antenna is integrated such that the scaffolding that provides structural support also includes inductances in the form of helical coils. The scaffolding is formed from a set of extendible bands capable of plastic deformation from a planar or non-helical configuration which simplifies fabrication. The low-profile of the planar configuration also simplifies deployment via catheter-based techniques, and as such this stent device is particularly well suited for use as a coronary artery stent.
Applications and Advantages
- Coronary artery stent with concurrent-nl-wireless monitoring of intraluminal characteristics
- Applicable also in non-arterial passages
- Compatible with various materials and stent-nl-designs
- Low profile planar configuration/-nl-simplified deployment
- May be fabricated via high-volume, batch–nl-manufacturable micro electro-discharge-nl-machining