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Antibody-functionalised cardiovascular stents for improved biocompatibility and reduced restenosis (EPICSTENT)
Start date: Apr 1, 2013, End date: Mar 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

An industry-academia collaboration is proposed wherein two industry and three academic partners will establish a lasting, inter-national partnership for transfer of knowledge in biomaterials engineering. The partners have synergistic competences in the medical device sector, and, aided by a schedule of staff secondments and networking events, their relevant niche expertise will be shared and transferred intersectorally. In all 16 researchers will be supported.Coronary artery disease accounts for two million deaths per year in Europe. The long-term outcome for patients is poor: 15% die or experience re-infarction within 30 days of initial diagnosis, while over 30% are re-hospitalised within 1 year. The estimated cost to the EU economy is €192 billion/year. The over-riding S&T objective of this collaboration is to develop a biomimetic cardiovascular stent prototype, by surface functionalisation with human antibody fragments, for improved coating by epithelial precursor cells in vivo. Sophisticated protein engineering and (nano)materials analysis from academic partners will interface with focused manufacturing and market experience of industry partners to deliver a stent with improved biocompatibility, reduced re-narrowing of arteries and superior clinical performance. Partners in interventional cardiology and industrial stent manufacturing will ensure clinical relevance and market-driven focus throughout design, development and post-project market entry.The collaboration will develop skill sets of individual researchers, strengthen research capacity at partner institutions and support important extant biomedical device clusters in Ireland and Poland. The clinical end product will significantly improve patient outcomes and quality of life for Europe’s citizens; reduce costs for health care providers; and strengthen the European biomedical industry, leading to creation / retention of wealth in Europe and job creation in the European medical devices sector.
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