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Stents Inspired by Paper-Cutting Art Can Deliver Drugs to the GI Tract

EurekAlert! Science News Releases

Photo: MIT

EurekAlert.org

Inspired by kirigami, the Japanese art of folding and cutting paper to create three-dimensional structures, MIT engineers and their collaborators have designed a new type of stent that could be used to deliver drugs to the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, or other tubular organs in the body.

The stents are coated in a smooth layer of plastic etched with small "needles" that pop up when the tube is stretched, allowing the needles to penetrate tissue and deliver a payload of drug-containing microparticles. Those drugs are then released over an extended period of time after the stent ...