Pitt researchers receive $2.5M to develop retrievable stent
- The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded a four-year, $2.5 million contract to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering and the UPMC Division of Vascular Surgery for the further development of a retrievable stent.
- The goal is to provide a solution for non-compressible hemorrhages in the chest or abdomen.
- Such injuries currently have death rates above 80% and are a common cause of mortality for those in the military as well as civilian gunshot victims, according to the UPMC announcement.
Advancement in retrievable stents would not only impact patients, but also significantly change the way providers and hospitals would be able to respond to them by making it possible for non-vascular physicians to place the stent with just minimal training.
“The absence of immediate vascular expertise and X-ray imaging on the battlefield or even in some hospitals remains a major obstacle to treat hemorrhages,” said principal investigator Bryan W. Tillman, assistant professor of vascular surgery at The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He argued that a retrievable stent would provide a way for any facility to rapidly control massive bleeding while awaiting transport to another facility or the hospital availability of vascular expertise or an equipped hybrid operating suite.
Physicians would place the stent in a blood vessel using a handheld device that would be simpler and more easily made available than X-ray equipment. Because the device would include a radiofrequency tag, it would be the first fully retrievable vascular stent, the researchers said. The stent could later be removed by vascular surgeons with dedicated imaging equipment.