Development of Smart Stent Using ‘Bubbles’
Development of Smart Stent Using ‘Bubbles’
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  • 승인 2018.03.07 13:31
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▲Prof. Hahn Sei-kwang (left) and Keum Do-hee
▲Prof. Hahn Sei-kwang (left) and Keum Do-hee

Professor Hahn Sei-kwang (MSE) and Keum Do-hee (MSE, Ph. D. Candidate) have developed a smart stent that can be used for diagnosis and therapy with the help of 3D printing technology. This was a joint research project with Professor Cho Dong-woo (ME) and Professor Kim Chul-hong (CiTE). A stent is a supporting fixture that is inserted inside blood vessels or organs to prevent them from being blocked. Surgical procedures using stents are well known, ranking fourth amongst most conducted surgeries in Korea. However, 90% of the products used are imported goods, thus local manufacturing is urgently needed. The research team concentrated on the facts, that, when calcium carbonate is used in digestive and meets acid, CO2 is produced, and fatty plaque that clogs vessels have a low pH. With biodegradable macromolecules, the team made stents using 3D printers, with coated calcium carbonate on it. When this stent is inserted inside the vessel, due to the low pH by fatty plaques, CO2 bubbles are produced. This bubble has its own contrasting effect, so without any administration of a contrast medium, we can monitor the inner side of vessels using ultrasonic instruments. In addition, the bubble eliminates the fatty plaque, preventing side effects of stent procedures, such as blood clotting or restenosis. Prof. Hahn explained, “Stents’ world market size is known to exceed 12 trillion KRW, and stents’ usage is not only limited to vessels, but also extending to uses with various organs such as the esophagus. Accordingly, investors’ interest is very high. Smart stents’ successful commercialization, will significantly contribute to the domestic medical instruments industries advancement.” This research is published as the cover paper of SMALL, an authoritative paper in the field of nanotechnology.


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