Bioresorbable coronary vascular scaffolds are about to revolutionize the landscape of interventional cardiology. These scaffolds, consisting of a poly(L-lactic acid) interior and a poly(d,l-lactic acid) surface coating, offer a genuine alternative for metallic coronary stents. Perhaps the only remaining drawback is that monitoring during implantation is limited to two X-ray contrast points. Here, a new approach to make the biodegradable scaffolds entirely radiopaque is explored. A new contrast agent is designed and synthesized. This compound is miscible with poly(d,l-lactic acid) matrix, and nontoxic to multiple cell types. Blends of poly(d,l-lactic acid) and the contrast agent are found to be hemocompatible, noncytotoxic, and radiopaque. The data show that it is possible to manufacture fully radiopaque bioresorbable coronary vascular scaffolds. Whole-stent X-ray visibility helps interventionalists ensure that the scaffold deploys completely. This important advantage may translate into improved safety, accuracy, and clinical performance of cardiac stents.
- homogeneous blends
- resorbable biomaterials