Please note: You are viewing an archived Bucknell University news story. It is possible that information found on this page has become outdated or inaccurate, and links and images contained within are not guaranteed to function correctly.
[X] Close this message.
Updated April 3, 2012
By Molly O'Brien-Foelsch
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University President John Bravman has developed a patented coating that may make coronary stents safer for heart disease patients.
A scholar in the field of thin-film materials, Bravman worked on designing the coating before he became president of Bucknell and while he was a professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University.
There, he collaborated with co-inventor Dimitrios Pantelidis to create an inorganic mesoporous oxide coating that adheres to organic polymers, metals and other bio-compatible materials. Pantelidis was Bravman's post-doctoral fellow at that time.
A solution to blood clot risk
The coating is especially useful when it performs as a sustained-release drug-delivery device, said Bravman. "When stents are inserted into arteries there is often a concern over restenosis, or the formation of a new blood clot around the stent. There are various approaches to this problem, one being to use a coating on the stent that releases a drug to prevent restenosis. Our process provides the coating in such a way that the drug is released at the proper rate."
Bravman said he and his fellow researchers faced a complex set of requirements in developing the coating. "It had to adhere well to the stent, it had to be biologically inert, it had to provide a reservoir for the drug, and it had to release that drug at the prescribed rate. Our approach addresses all of these issues by creating on the surface of the stent a highly porous coating that is incredibly thin. The porosity is controlled to allow for different drugs and elution rates."
Versatile applications for patent
The coating is applied using a 'sol-gel' process that starts with a colloidal solution, or 'sol,' which includes a solvent and the material to be left behind — the coating. The sol is a precursor to the 'gel,' which when dried leaves behind a network of porous material on the stent. In July, the U.S. Patent Office issued patent # 7,981,441 to Pantelidis and Bravman for the invention, "Drug Delivery Systems Using Mesoporous Oxide Films." In January, 2012, the two, along with co-inventors Johnathan Rothbard and Richard L. Klein, received a second patent, "Bioactive Material Delivery Systems Comprising Sol-gel Compositions," for their work on using sol-gel compositions as drug-delivery reservoirs and to improve adhesion or organic and inorganic substrates.
Bravman said the process can be easily applied to large-scale manufacturing and that other, non-stent applications for localized drug delivery are covered by the patent. "We previously developed this coating for applications in microelectronic packaging," said Bravman. "This is a good example of how research on one field can have an impact in an entirely different field."
Contact: Division of Communications