Cardiovascular disease is and remains a leading cause of death, taking 17.5 million lives per year. In the last decade, treatment with drug eluting stents (DES) has become an integral part of modern clinical practice. While the implantation of DES has significantly reduced the need for repeat revascularization as compared with non-DES, there is still room for improvement of the stents .
Swine coronary models are considered to be THE golden standard in cardiovascular stent research. However, according to the FDA, 90-95% of drugs that pass animal tests fail to get to market. This is, in part, due to the lack of pre-existing disease in animal studies, and due to the failure to address differences in the background of the patient population such as age, sex, race and the presence of co-morbidities.
The overarching aim of this project is to innovate two existing 3R vascular models for human disease (ex-vivo and organ-on-a-chip-based) and implement these to study the effects of DES in healthy and disease mimicking circumstances to overcome the limitations of classical animal models.
This system is ultimately intended as a “fast-forward” technology in the development and testing of DES and other local drug delivery strategies. It can essentially be implemented for studying general arterial transport phenomena such as systemic drug delivery and progression and regression of atherosclerosis. The future outlook is that it will allow mathematical modelling of arterial transport phenomena in the healthy and diseased artery wall, gearing this technology towards personalized lesion specific treatment strategies.