Alejandro Freixes
Nov 1, 2011

Medtronic develops new stent for peripheral artery disease


Medtronic Inc has developed a new device  for the treatment of peripheral artery disease. This new FDA approved device, dubbed the Assurant Cobalt Iilac Balloon Expandable Stent System has already created a name for itself in the lab, and seems to have a promising future in the medical field.

Peripheral artery disease is a medical condition in which the limbs and extremities do not receive a sufficient amount of blood flow. This is caused by either a narrowing of the vessels or deposits of fat, and in severe cases includes reduced blood flow to the brain and heart. Symptoms of the disease usually consist of leg pain or discomfort in walking due to pain.
The function of the Assurat Cobalt Stent System is to be inserted into the artery and balloon outwards to support the walls of the artery, maximizing blood flow to the extremities and alleviating pain.  
The Assurat features a balance between function and strength; the smooth, round edges of the stent allow for smooth access into the arteries and the ultra thin cobalt chromium offers superb strength without sacrificing durability and strength. It is able to support the full range of artery sixes, which can range from 6mm x 20mm to 10mm x 60mm in matrix size.

The apparatus is not solely innovative for its sleek design, for it has proven itself worthy in the laboratory trials. According to Dr. William A. Gray of the New York Presbyterian Hospital and a co-principal investigator of the use of the Assure Cobalt in the treatment of Iilac Vessel disease, it has “demonstrated excellent safety... with some of the lowest rates of nine-month [target lesion revascularization] ever seen in a... trial...and benefits our patients.”
Gray sees this as a huge benefit for the patients, not only because of the rapidness of the process, but also because of the quality of the results.

The lab experiments themselves consisted of a trial study conducted in 17 different US cities using 123 patients with peripheral artery disease that required medical attention. The trial had promising results with a 99.2 percent primary patency rate, or 122 patients. Only one patient, or 0.8 percent, required an additional intervention after nine months of follow up.