Associate Professor Claudine Bonder and Postdoctoral Research Scientist Dr Eli Moore have one goal – to prevent the many deaths that occur from heart disease in Australia each year.
How will they achieve their goal? They’re looking at revolutionising one of the most common treatments for heart failure, stenting.
Heart failure typically occurs due to a blocked blood vessel, or in the elderly population because the vessels become thinner and more fragile during the ageing process. Currently when this heart failure occurs, a patient is treated in one of two ways, angioplasty or stenting.
Stenting is where a small device is inserted into the narrow blood vessels to open them up and maintain their width. Unfortunately, these stents are a foreign entity, which the body recognises and tries to attack one way or another.
“In Australia alone, there are 26,000 stents surgically inserted every year. This number is continuing to grow each year because of our growing and ageing population,” A/Prof Bonder said.
“As stents are a foreign entity introduced into the body, patients often have to take anti-platelet therapy for a number of years. This has a huge impact on them both personally and financially.
“On top of this, once a patient has a stent inserted they often also need further reintervention and more stents.
A/Prof Bonder and Dr Moore have created and are testing an anti-adhesive protective coating that would essentially cloak stent to make it invisible to the body and thus potentially reduce the need for further stents or ongoing anti-platelet therapy.
“What we’re trying to do first is to make the stent invisible to the body when it is inserted.
“Secondly, we’re looking at lining this protective coating so that it captures the all-important blood vessel cells so that they can quickly cover the stent and turn it into a ‘normal’ looking blood vessel.”
Working in collaboration with the Cell Therapy Manufacturing CRC to produce this groundbreaking nanotechnology, A/Prof Bonder and Dr Moore are hopeful this new revolutionary stent could soon change the lives of patients with heart failure due to blocked blood vessels.
“If this research continues to show promising results we’re hopeful it will revolutionise stenting in Australia and across the globe.”
This research will truly save lives and prevent the heartbreaking impact of heart disease. Thank you for supporting lifesaving research like this!