Advancing Bioabsorbable Scaffolds with Polymer Technology

Medical Device, Medical Device Design, Medical Device Innovations,
  • Thursday, September 14, 2017

A great deal of recent clinical data suggests that bioabsorbable vascular scaffolds (BRS) are indeed expected to be the next revolution in endovascular therapy. In contrast to traditional metallic stents, the body has the ability to break down and absorb the polymers used to make these scaffolds. BRSs have been clinically shown to afford restored vasomotion, late luminal enlargement, and reduced angina; all benefits of a new vascular restoration therapy that is expected to improve the life of many patients.

While the day where BRS becomes the standard of care is fast approaching, transitioning from a permanent metallic platform to a transient polymeric platform has been a slow evolution and not without its challenges. Compared to most metals, polymers inherently possess a lower strength and toughness, thereby increasing the risk of scaffold recoil following deployment and strut fracture if traditional techniques of over expansion are used. These limitations have been largely overcome by an increase in strut thickness and by specialized polymer processing to induce molecular orientation. However, there remain concerns that the thicker struts could increase the risk of in-scaffold thrombosis and the risk of strut fracture will significantly limit the degree to which the scaffold can be over-expanded.  Accordingly, further advancements in polymer chemistry and processing are needed and the ultimate success of cardiac and peripheral vascular restoration therapy via BRS will heavily depend on it.



Dr. Bruce Anneaux, Ph.D., Corporate Director, Research

Dr. Anneaux earned his Masters and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Clemson University.  He has extensive experience in bioabsorbable polymer synthesis and processing with numerous innovations in related devices and components.  Dr. Anneaux leads a diverse team of scientists and engineers within Zeus’ ISO13485 accredited research facility and corporate analytical lab.

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James M. Lindsey, III, Sr. Research Engineer

Mr. Lindsey has Bachelor of Science degrees in Biological Sciences and Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Bioengineering from Clemson University.  For the past seven years, Mr. Lindsey has been the senior research engineer at Zeus.  He specializes in bioabsorbable polymer design and synthesis, extrusion, and secondary processing.

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 Medical Device Engineers:

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For more than 50 years, Zeus has delivered precision polymer solutions for the medical device industry. We specialize in precision extrusions of PTFE, FEP, PEEK, PFA, ETFE, PVDF, bioabsorbable polymers, and other engineered plastics.  Headquartered in Orangeburg, SC, Zeus operates multiple facilities in North America and internationally, guaranteeing a stable supply of our products anywhere in the world.  Our resources include a world-class team of polymer scientists and engineers that assist customers in elevating their concept from prototype to full-scale commercialization.

Major Markets:

Peripheral vascular, cardiovascular, neurovascular, structural heart, cardiac rhythm management / electrophysiology, gastrointestinal endoscopy, aerospace, energy, automotive, and fiber optics.

Services Offered:

At Zeus, we are dedicated to providing custom designed solutions for medical markets. Our product line includes extruded tubing, heat shrinks, PEEKshrink®, FluoroPEELZ® peelable fusing sleeves, thin-walled Sub-Lite-Wall® tubing, Aeos® ePTFE porous products, Absorv® bioabsorbable tubing, Bioweb® electrospun composites, drawn fiber, and multi-lumen tubing.  Zeus also offers a full array of secondary/value-add services including flaring, flanging, pad printing, etching, and more. In 2015, we launched the Virtual Sample Locker (VSL), a free and easy-to-use complimentary online service providing customers with constant access to catheter component samples with swift delivery. Continuing our history of innovation, we quickly followed VSL with the unveiling of our LCP (liquid crystal polymer) monofilament fiber for the creation of MRI-compatible catheters. More recently, we have made available our Aeos® expanded PTFE (ePTFE) suture monofilament in bulk and unbranded format and released our Streamliner™ series of thin-walled catheter liners. Zeus also offers the expertise of our traveling Technical Z-teams – polymer scientists, engineers, and technicians – who are available to consult on urgent on-site projects. As minimally invasive techniques become ever more prevalent, you need a partner with a proven record of success in helping you stay at the forefront of medical device technologies. Zeus remains committed to these partnerships and is ready to assist with all of your project needs.

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