Cool devices and diagnostics: Advances in the field

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Abbott, drug-eluting stent

Image courtesy of Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Laboratories ($ABT)
Maker of: the Absorb drug-eluting bioresorbable vascular scaffold
Cool factor:  Stents are ubiquitous of course, but ones that dissolve after they've done their job unclogging arteries are anything but. Abbott is the first to get its bioresorbable version to market, with the product now shipping in Europe, parts of the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America. The first-of-its-kind technology is pretty neat. After initially functioning like a normal vascular stent, restoring blood flow and releasing the anticlotting drug everolimus, Absorb is designed to dissolve over time. Made of polylactide--the same crucial ingredient in dissolvable sutures--it eventually goes away. While some critics worry that drug-eluting stents could boost stroke risks, having them dissolve when their job is done potentially eliminates the problem entirely.