Coronary artery disease (CAD) is usually due to narrowing of the coronary arteries, caused by the accumulation of cells and fat within the artery wall that narrows the lumen. Treatment currently aims to mechanically widen the lumen, using balloon angioplasty, and maintain patency using a stent. Initially Bare-metal stents (BMS) were used. Despite being cost effective and minimally-invasive, restenosis (the re-closure of an artery following treatment) is a common complication occurring in 10-30% of the patients who then require a repeated procedure. BMS have been superseded by coated, or drug-eluting stents (DES). DES deliver anti-proliferative or immunosuppressive agents, to the treated site to inhibit smooth muscle cell growth. It was hoped that these stents would prevent restenosis, but clinical trials have shown a high level of residual restenosis, creating a significant opportunity for innovative approaches to the fabrication of novel stents, and that requires a convergence of biomaterial, pharmaceutical, and vascular biological expertise.
This project commenced in 2017 and will end in 2020.
The work will be undertaken at both Brighton and Sussex Universities:
The novel approach of the project has so far shown a potential to reducing restenosis. This is based on triggering the endogenous repair mechanisms of the blood vessel wall, using a combination of a prototypic tissue protective cytokine (TPC), erythropoietin (EPO), and molecules that mimic a hypoxia-like response (triggering the normal reparative/adaptive response of the body to low oxygen) that are delivered directly to the blood vessel wall. We have evaluated this combination in vitro and in vivo (using the rat angioplasty model) and have shown some promising results.
Prof Gordon Ferns, BSMS
Prof Pietro Ghezzi, BSMS
Dr Lamia Heikal, BSMS
Prof Matteo Santin, University of Brighton
Dr Iain Allen, University of Brighton
Dr Mohammed Maniruzzaman, Sussex University
Brighton and Sussex Medical School
University of Brighton
Sussex Innovation Centre