Chinese medical stent makes Lancet breakthrough

By Xu Hailin Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/5 23:23:41

The debut of a China-developed medical device in the world's oldest and best-known medical journal has been hailed by Chinese media as a breakthrough for Chinese medical innovation. 

For the first time in its 200-year history, The Lancet published Tuesday a report on the clinical tests of a China-made device, the Firehawk stent, a drug-eluting stent independently developed by the Shanghai-based MicroPort Scientific Corporation.

The Firehawk could be a solution to a problem that has perplexed the field of cardiovascular intervention for more than 10 years, the Yangtze Evening Post reported Wednesday, citing the Lancet article.

The Firehawk is a stent that contains drugs in tiny grooves engraved by lasers on the surface. The design effectively prevents the drug from leaking during the transportation of the stent, which greatly improves efficiency and avoids wasting medication, the Yangtze Evening Post reported. 

Shao Zhanqiang, a senior surgeon at Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, told the Global Times on Wednesday that The Lancet report signals progress in medical innovation in China, but that new devices and instruments must be fully examined before they can be put into wide use.

"Ideally, the Firehawk stent is expected to solve the problem of blood clots after [heart] surgery, which could adversely influence cardiovascular intervention therapy," Shao said.

The MicroPort Scientific Corporation has spent 15 years developing the stent, finally adopting a polymer coating technology to effectively and precisely deliver the drug within the blood vessel.

The technology could save patients who need post-surgery medication a great deal of money, the Yangtze Evening Post reported.

Chinese medical apparatus and instruments represented by MicroPort are also being recognized by more people around the world, said the newspaper.

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