Novel biodegradable magnesium-composite tracheal stents for youngsters with airway obstruction

Novel biodegradable magnesium-composite tracheal stents for youngsters with airway obstruction


  • Post By : Kumar Jeetendra

  • Source: University of Pittsburgh

  • Date: 17 Jan,2021

While it can be something a child is born with or caused by trauma, the condition may lead to a life-threatening emergency if untreated.

Treatment, however, is challenging. Based on the severity, doctors will use a combination of endoscopic methods, surgical repair, tracheostomy, or deployment of stents to hold the airway open and enable breathing.

While stents are excellent at holding the airway open and simultaneously permitting the trachea to continue growing, they could move around, or cause damage when they’re eventually eliminated. New study published in Communications Biology and led by the University of Pittsburgh is poised to radically improve the use of stents, demonstrating for the first time that the successful use of a completely biodegradable magnesium-alloy tracheal stent that avoids some of these risks.

Using commercial non-biodegradable metal or silicone based tracheal stents has a risk of severe complications and doesn’t achieve optimal clinical outcomes, even in adults. Using advanced biomaterials could offer a less invasive, and more successful, treatment option.”

Prashant N. Kumta, Edward R. Weidlein Chair Professor of Bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering

In the analysis, the balloon-expandable ultra-high ductility (UHD) biodegradable magnesium stent was demonstrated to perform better than current metallic non-biodegradable stents being used in both in lab testing and in rabbit models. The stent was proven to maintain the airway open over time and have low degradation rates, demonstrating normal healing and no negative problems.

“Our results are extremely promising for the use of the novel biodegradable, high ductility metal stent, particularly for pediatric patients,” stated Kumta, who also holds appointments in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and the McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine. “We hope that this new approach leads to new and improved therapies for patients with this complex condition as well as other tracheal obstruction conditions including tracheal cancer”

Journal reference:

Wu, J., et al. (2020) In-vivo efficacy of biodegradable ultrahigh ductility Mg-Li-Zn alloy tracheal stents for pediatric airway obstruction. Communications Biology.

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