Bioresorbable scaffolds: rationale, current status, challenges, and future

Eur Heart J. 2014 Mar;35(12):765-76. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/eht542. Epub 2013 Dec 23.


Current generation of drug-eluting stents has significantly improved the outcomes of percutaneous coronary intervention by substantially reducing in-stent restenosis and stent thrombosis. However, a potential limitation of these stents is the permanent presence of a metallic foreign body within the artery, which may cause vascular inflammation, restenosis, thrombosis, and neoatherosclerosis. The permanent stents also indefinitely impair the physiological vasomotor function of the vessel and future potential of grafting the stented segment. Bioresorbable scaffolds (BRSs) have the potential to overcome these limitations as they provide temporary scaffolding and then disappear, liberating the treated vessel from its cage and restoring pulsatility, cyclical strain, physiological shear stress, and mechanotransduction. While a number of BRSs are under development, two devices with substantial clinical data have already received a Conformité Européenne marking. This review article presents the current status of these devices and evaluates the challenges that need to be overcome before BRSs can become the workhorse device in coronary intervention.

Keywords: Bioresorbable scaffolds; Coronary angioplasty; Drug-eluting stents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absorbable Implants / trends*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Coronary Stenosis / therapy
  • Drug-Eluting Stents
  • Forecasting
  • Graft Occlusion, Vascular / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Metals / therapeutic use
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Tissue Scaffolds / trends*


  • Metals