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Engineers, doctors at UCLA develop novel material that could help fight arterial disease
Date:11/25/2009

onize the engineering field. It wasn't until 1985 that people began to think this material would probably be great to use in a stent," Carman said. "The reason they liked it for a stent is because you could bend the material a very large distance and it would return back to its original shape. Other metals, such as surgical steel, do not allow such a large shape recovery and, as such, cannot be used in many stenting devices."

In the early 2000s, Carman's group started looking into making thin-film Nitinol and accidently stumbled across a way to fabricate what they believed was very high-quality, uniform-composition Nitinol.

"That's when we started producing thin-film Nitinol. We weren't sure where the applications for this novel, very low-profile material would go until we ran into someone in the medical school," Carman said.

"I immediately saw the promise that thin-film Nitinol had for intravascular and cardiac applications," said Dr. Daniel Levi, a pediatric cardiologist at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA and a principal investigator on the team. "Greg and I started working together immediately on stents and a heart valve."

Carman and Levi's team looked into producing stents that incorporated thin-film Nitinol on the exterior. Originally, the team considered it a possible treatment for neural vascular disease. They then discovered that their thin-film Nitinol, at only 5 microns thick compared to commercial stents, with a covering 100 microns thick could be placed into much smaller tubes or catheters and used on much smaller-diameter blood vessels, like those found in limbs.

While this was a boon to treatment delivery, the main concern with PAD treatment was thrombosis. During testing, the team soon discovered their new stent possessed several attributes that could combat thrombosis.

When a blood vessel is injured, the body uses blood platelets to form clots as a first step in repair and t
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Contact: Wileen Wong Kromhout
wwkromhout@support.ucla.edu
310-206-0540
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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