Background: A serious complication with drug-eluting coronary stents is late thrombosis, caused by exposed stent struts not covered by endothelial cells in the healing process. Real-time detection of this healing process could guide physicians for more individualized anti-platelet therapy. Here we present work towards developing a sensor to detect this healing process. Sensors on several stent struts could give information about the heterogeneity of healing across the stent.Methods: A piezoelectric microcantilever was insulated with parylene and demonstrated as an endothelialization detector for incorporation within an active coronary stent. After initial characterization, endothelial cells were plated onto the cantilever surface. After they attached to the surface, they caused an increase in mass, and thus a decrease in the resonant frequencies of the cantilever. This shift was then detected electrically with an LCR meter. The self-sensing, self-actuating cantilever does not require an external, optical detection system, thus allowing for implanted applications.Results: A cell density of 1300 cells/mm2 on the cantilever surface is detected.Conclusions: We have developed a self-actuating, self-sensing device for detecting the presence of endothelial cells on a surface. The device is biocompatible and functions reliably in ionic liquids, making it appropriate for implantable applications. This sensor can be placed along the struts of a coronary stent to detect when the struts have been covered with a layer of endothelial cells and are no longer available surfaces for clot formation. Anti-platelet therapy can be adjusted in real-time with respect to a patient's level of healing and hemorrhaging risks.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging