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STBL Receives Translational NIH Award

September 1st, 2023 by Jonathan Vande Geest

The STBL received a developmental grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

The project, titled “Biocarpet: The Next Generation Endovascular Device for Peripheral Arterial Disease,” began in September 2023 and has received nearly $400,000 in funding.

Dr. Vande Geest’s project seeks to address peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a condition in which blood flow to the arms and legs is reduced due to narrowed or blocked arteries. Nearly 10 million people age 40 and older in the U.S. suffer from PAD.

Age, smoking, diabetes, ethnicity, lifestyle habits, and other medical conditions like obesity and high blood pressure can increase the risk for developing PAD. Untreated PAD can limit mobility and lead to heart attack, stroke, and limb amputation. Current treatments for severe cases of PAD include balloon angioplasty, stent placement, and vascular bypass.

In the abstract for his project, Dr. Vande Geest argues that many of the surgical treatments for PAD prove problematic over time. For instance, balloon angioplasty can lead to restenosis and device failure; stents can fracture due to complications present in advanced PAD; and surgical bypass has a two-year primary patency rate of 67%.

Dr. Vande Geest and his team have developed what they’ve termed the “Biocarpet” in response to the need for more durable solutions to PAD. The Biocarpet is “a fully biodegradable electrospun sheet that takes the shape of the patient’s vascular anatomy following deployment.”

With funding from the NIH, Dr. Vande Geest’s goal is to finalize the design and prototype of the Biocarpet and make progress toward clinical translation.

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