(1/2/24-31/7/24) Llavor AUXSTENT "Stents with combined properties of radial and longitudinal growth for pediatric aortic coarctation" with Hardvard-MIT

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(1/2/24-31/7/24) Llavor AUXSTENT "Stents with combined properties of radial and longitudinal growth for pediatric aortic coarctation" with Hardvard-MIT "Manufacturing of prototypes including production of polymeric tubing and femtssecond laser cutting, Patency related testing, Knowledge transfer and Business plan"


Aortic coarctation is a congenital heart defect characterized by a narrow section in the aorta, the main blood vessel that transports oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body. This pathology accounts for 6-8% of all congenital heart defects, with an incidence of approximately 4 per 10,000 births. Untreated aortic coarctation carries a poor prognosis, with a median survival age of 35 years and a mortality of 75% at 46 years. The exact cause of aortic coarctation is not clearly known, but it is thought to be related to developmental problems of the fetus during pregnancy. Treatment of aortic coarctation may be by surgical repair, transcatheter balloon angioplasty, or transcatheter stent implantation. The appropriate treatment method is determined by factors such as narrow segment morphology, patient age and size, and other comorbidities. Unfortunately, all available treatments present a high risk of short- and long-term complications, including the very frequent need for reintervention, which may affect the future health and survival rate of individuals with aortic coarctation. Based on the drawbacks of current treatments, the overall aim of this research is to design new polymeric stents that are adapted to the growth needs of children affected by aortic coarctation and that effectively minimize or eradicate new interventions. The working hypothesis of this project is that stent designs supplemented with materials capable of gradually changing their properties over time (expanding and degrading) will be able to adapt to the arterial changes caused by natural growth and tissue remodeling associated with the treatment of pediatric aortic coarctation. More specifically, the hypothesis is that auxetic designs will outperform metallic implants and keep the arterial lumen open longer due to better integration of the device with the growing aorta. We will use the money raised with the Llavor grant to manufacture implant prototypes and to run ex vivo proof of concept experiments that demonstrate that such polymeric stents are able to be introduced within an endovascular catheter and expand upon the affected region of a coarcted aorta. This will contribute to the main objective of assessing the patentability and marketability of the novel polymeric auxetic stent to treat pediatric aortic coarctation. Our close contact with industry on the one hand and with our patients on the other makes our team devoted to delivering the best available treatment.

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