Washington, DC — A new stent that incorporates an innovative metal alloy developed by scientists at Boston Scientific Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has received European approval for use in the treatment of certain peripheral arterial diseases. Initially developed for use as a coronary stent, the new PROMUS ELEMENT™ PLUS BTK drug-eluting stent system is designed for treatment of critical limb ischemia, a severe obstruction of arteries within the extremities which reduces blood flow and can damage tissues. Restoring and maintaining peripheral blood flow in these patients is critical for proper tissue repair, and reduces the risk of limb amputation.
Developed through a multi-year industry-government collaboration, scientists at Boston Scientific and the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory fabricated a stent using an alloy containing platinum and chromium. The stent has a significant concentration of a highly radiopaque element, platinum, which makes the stent easier to see on x-ray monitors during insertion, placement, and expansion. This makes the surgeon’s job easier and lowers the risk of damage to the patient’s arteries during placement. The new stent series improves clinical outcomes, reduces healthcare costs, and leads to better long-term prognosis for patients.
The relative thinness of the stent increases flexibility, allowing it to be threaded through or implanted safely in arterial bends, which are typically difficult to navigate during the insertion process. The higher radiopacity also ensures that the stent is visible to future medical personnel during coronary examination procedures, thereby improving the chance for an accurate diagnosis or medical intervention. The addition of platinum in the alloy increases the stent’s corrosive resistance, which optimizes the stent’s longevity within the body. The alloy’s strength also reduces recoil, which reduces the likelihood of constriction after deployment.
Since introduction in 2010, the platinum/chromium coronary stent series, which includes the PROMUS® Element™, ION™, and OMEGA™ Stent Systems, has become the leading stent platform in the world, with more than $4 billion in sales. The stent series has captured a 45 percent market share in the United States, and a 33 percent global share of the coronary stent market. The new stent series has resulted in the creation of 300 new jobs at Boston Scientific, with an additional 150 new jobs created in its distribution network and alloy producer, all of which are located in the United States.