The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has created a medical stent inspired by the Japanese art of Kirigami paper-cutting
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The bracket of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is coated with a layer of smooth plastic with small “pins” engraved on it, When the tube is stretched, it will pop out. These needles penetrate the tissue and deliver a drug load containing microparticles. Then, after the stent is removed from the body, these drugs will be slowly released for a long period of time.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers believe that this kind of local drug delivery can more easily treat inflammatory diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract, such as inflammatory bowel disease or eosinophilic esophagitis. Giovanni Traverso, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and gastroenterologist at MIT, said the technology can be applied to basically any tubular organ.
Traverso said that this kind of stent enables people to deliver drugs locally from time to time, and maximizes the possibility of helping to solve the disease. He believes that the new stent may change our perception of patient care, achieving local but long-term drug delivery after a treatment.
The biggest advantage of using MIT stents for local administration is that the treatment of inflammatory diseases of the intestines, such as irritable bowel syndrome, requires injections of drugs that reduce the body’s immune response. The problem with injecting drugs is that they can have systemic effects elsewhere in the body. Traverso and the research team hope to devise a way to deliver the drugs directly to the affected tissues to reduce the chance of side effects.
The design of the tube uses two key elements: a soft and elastic tube made of silicone-based rubber, and a plastic coating engraved with a needle. When the tube is stretched, the needle Will pop up. The project researchers pointed out that the design of the kirigami bracket is to provide a reversible shape transformation that enables it to change from a flat surface to a three-dimensional shape, and then into the original flat shape for easy removal.