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Jan 13.17 Magnesium Makes Medical History
The first surgical operation in Victoria (Australia) using stents made from dissolvable, biocompatible magnesium metal has been performed.
Cardiologist and Professor of Medicine Peter Barlis of the University of Melbourne (Australia) performed the procedure, inserting the stent which is one of only four such devices inserted across the country.
Cardiologists at St. Vincent’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne are using the magnesium stents--small devices used to open an artery that is either blocked or collapsed due to plaque buildup or a blood clot--in the latest application of the technology designed to reduce complications from common cardiac procedures and follow-up situations.

Around 54,000 Australians suffer heart attack each year and stenting procedures are very common. But once a stent is inserted, it generally remains within the patient’s body for life. This revolutionary magnesium stent, developed by German medical device company BIOTRONIK, is the new Magmaris, approved for clinical use in Europe in June 2016.
Magnesium is not toxic, magnesium nutrients are part of human metabolism (the adult human body contains up to 40g of magnesium), and it has mechanical properties similar to human bone.
In time, the magnesium stent dissolves and is reabsorbed as an inert substance.

Professor Barlis said this new type of stent reduces risk of inflammation and scar tissue that can re-block and artery that has been opened. When the stent dissolves, the artery should be fully healed and stay open.
“The magnesium stent is attractive because it affords us increased strength over polymer stents and dissolves in just 12-18 months, rather than three years or more,” Professor Barlis said.

(Magnesium’s fast solubility in the body can be a drawback. A doctorate student (Timur Mukyametkaliev) at the TPU Institute of Physics and Technology (a leading Russian public research university) has reportedly solved this issue by covering the implants with a bioactive hydroxyapatite protective coating. They are deposited on the magnesium surface in the modified RF-magnetron sputtering plasma chamber.)

Professor Barlis is currently working with the University of Melbourne School of Engineering to develop next-generation stents that can be 3D- printed to a patient’s exact specifications, or could deliver medicine to the heart using nanotechnology.
“Our vision is to improve these devices by making them thinner. . .or potentially using nanotechnology to use (them) as platforms to release drugs over time to where they are most needed--in the artery itself,” he said.
“We could. . .use such an advance to target cholesterol in the artery to stop the build-up of the plaque that eventually causes blockages.
“It could also be a way of delivering drugs such as blood thinners for example, without having to rely on patients to keep taking their medication,” he adds/

Globally, demand in the bioabsorbable stents market is increasing, according to research reports.
(A sample of a recent relevant report is available upon request @ www.persistencemarketresearch.com/samples/3827.)

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