This week and the upcoming week I will be researching about drug-eluting stents, the drugs involved, and their applications. Since I have to be 18 to begin working in the lab, I will be completing safety training modules and reading about the current projects in the lab that I will be joining next week.

Here is some information that will be helpful in understanding my project:

The most common treatment of coronary heart disease is the insertion of a heart stent. What is coronary heart disease? Overtime plaque builds up in our coronary arteries and slows blood flow to the heart. A heart stent is then inserted to prop open the artery and reestablish blood flow.  


A stent is a dime-sized, mesh tube.


After 3-12 months, the major complication with the insertion of a heart stent is in-stent restenosis, the renarrowing of an artery. Stents cause the hyperproliferation of smooth muscle and endothelial cells that line coronary arteries, which re-blocks blood flow. About 40% of patients treated with a stent developed restenosis. In order to prevent restenosis doctors prefer to insert drug-eluting stents over bare metal stents. Drug-eluting stents have reduced the rate of restenosis occurrence to 10%. Drug-eluting stents (DES) emit anti-inflammatory drugs along the artery wall and stops the cell cycle of proliferating cells. The first two first generation DES (drug-eluting stents) in the United States were the sirolimus-eluting stent (SES) and paclitaxel-eluting stent (PES). PES moved to the second generation class for stents while SES is no longer used in the United States. Second generation stents include zotarolimus-eluting stent (ZES) and the everolimus-eluting stent (EES). There are a number of other drugs used in drug-eluting stents as well as a number of stent materials. I will begin comparing the effects of many of these drugs in the lab in about two weeks and will be sure to keep you updated! 

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