The introduction of the coronary stent in 1986 was one of the most far-reaching changes in the practice of interventional cardiology since its inception in 1977. Despite all the benefits of the using a metallic drug eluting stent (DES), their limitations have generated interest towards biodegradable technology. These biodegradable stents, which are made of polymers or metal alloys with or without a drug coating, have the potential to scaffold the artery to allow natural healing to take place, and then biodegrade. The development of this technology has been slow, however several biodegradable stents have entered into clinical trials, with many more at the preclinical stage of development. Concurrently conventional metallic DES have tried to address their limitations; in particular they have sought to repair their damaged reputation following concerns over stent thrombosis. Accordingly, stents with a more biocompatible polymer and DES which are polymer-free have been developed, and are currently being evaluated in clinical trials. This article will review the status of biodegradable stents, and these newer DES, during this exciting period in interventional cardiology as technology strives to develop the ideal coronary stent.

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Minerva Cardioangiologica: a journal on heart and vascular diseases
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Garg, S., & Serruys, P. (2009). Biodegradable stents and non-biodegradable stents. Minerva Cardioangiologica: a journal on heart and vascular diseases, 57(5), 537–565. Retrieved from