A polyhydroxybutyrate biodegradable stent: Preliminary experience in the rabbit

M. Unverdorben, A. Spielberger, M. Schywalsky, D. Labahn, S. Hartwig, M. Schneider, D. Lootz, D. Behrend, K. Schmitz, R. Degenhardt, M. Schaldach, C. Vallbracht, W. Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Purpose: The lifelong persistence of foreign bodies within the arteries may contribute to restenosis. Thus, biodegradable devices might decrease recurrence rates. Methods: Eleven polyhydroxybutyrate biodegradable stents and 13 tantalum stents were implanted into the iliac arteries of New Zealand white rabbits for up to 30 weeks. After killing the animals, the specimens were harvested, fixed in formalin, processed in paraffin, and stained. Results: Polyhydroxybutyrate instigated intense inflammatory and proliferative reactions with an increase in collagen (2.4- to 8-fold vs native segments), thrombosis and in-stent lumen narrowing (375.5-606.6 μm vs 655.6 ± 268.8 μm in native segments). The elastic membranes were destroyed in all specimens. The tantalum stents increased the in-stent lumen progressively (769.7 ± 366.6 μm vs 1309.9 ± 695.3 μm), penetrated the external elastic membrane, and increased mural collagen content (6- to 8.6-fold vs native segments). Neither restenoses nor thromboses occurred. Conclusions: In the rabbit iliac artery, polyhydroxybutyrate stents caused intensive inflammatory vascular reactions which ban them from clinical use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-132
Number of pages6
JournalCardioVascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodegradable stents
  • Inflammation
  • Polyhydroxybutyrate
  • Rabbit
  • Restenosis


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