Partnering opportunity

Berlin university offers licencing or research partnership for development of a microstructured polymer stent

Summary

A Berlin university holding a patent application for a microstructured polymer stent is looking for a licensing or research partner in order to develop the stent further from prototype to large scale application. The stent can be used to keep or rebuild the luminal size of passages in the human body like coronary arteries or the esophagus. It helps to prevent problems of traditional stents like in-stent restenosis and stent loss as well as late side effects of drug eluting stents.

Partner expertise sought

The university is looking for a partner who is willing to develop the stent prototype further in the framework of a licence agreement or a research collaboration. This can be a research institution as well as a private company working in the field of medical technology. The aim is to reach large-scale application of the microstructured polymer stent. The type of cooperation has been chosen, because further research and development is needed, in order to reach large scale application. The development can be done by the partner alone on the basis of a licencing agreement or in cooperation with the University on the basis of a respective research cooperation agreement.

Description

Stents are small tubes or tubular shaped meshes which are used to keep or rebuild the luminal size (i. e the inner open space or cavity) of a tubular organ, as of coronary arteries or the esophagus. They are most commonly used in the treatment of stenosis (narrowing of the blood vessels). Stents can be utilized as implants or in conjunction with an angioplasty (a technique for widening narrowed arteries). The most common complications when using stents are in-stent restenosis and stent loss. In-stent restenosis is the re-narrowing of the implanted stent which occurs in about 30% of all cases. To prevent restenosis, drug eluting stents have been developed, but a big problem of drug eluting stents are the late effects, such as increased risk of bleeding, acute intoxication and the formation of tumors. With the help of microstructured polymer stents these problems can be prevented. The microstructured polymer stents are made of a shape memory polymer. Below body temperature, the shape memory polymer stent has a compressed geometry (temporary form). When heating the shape memory polymer stent on body temperature, the stent turns into an uncompressed geometry (predefined permanent form). As the inner surface of the stent is microstructured it limits laminar flows and thus prevents in-stent restenosis. The outer surface is structured leading to a fixation of the stent and thereby preventing stent loss. Therefore, the polymer stent is a reliable device for angioplastic procedures. The structuring of the polymer surface can be achieved with different methods, e. g. via moulding, laser structuring or etching.The university is interested in a partnership on the basis of a licence agreement or a research cooperation agreement, in order to reach large scale application of the stent in the human body and to develop a product ready for the European market and beyond.

Advantages and innovations

The microstructured polymer stent can prevent common problems of traditional stents as in-stent restenosis and stent loss. It also prevents possible late side effects of the newer drug-eluting stents as increased risk of bleeding, acute intoxication and the formation of tumors. First successful in vivo tests with microstructured inner surface polymer stents in pig hearts have been performed. Moreover, in a lab experiment they showed significantly less deposits (up to 25 % less) than stents with a polished inner surface.

Development stage

Prototype available for demonstration

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted


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