Alternative to the stent

Battling myocardial infarction with drug-coated balloon catheters

Research News /

In Germany, nearly 6 million people suffer from coronary heart disease. The disease is caused by calcium deposits which constrict the coronary arteries. Doctors generally use a stent to widen the narrow pathway. However, the blood vessel often constricts further, thus necessitating further interventions. For this reason, a drug-coated balloon catheter inserted in minimally invasive cardiac surgery is increasingly serving as a replacement for the risky stent treatment. In current practice, the balloons are often coated manually. A new device is intended to automate this time-consuming procedure. Along with partner companies, a team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK is developing a prototype of such a device.