Atherosclerosis is a major cardiovascular disease involving accumulations of lipids, white blood cells, and other materials on the inside of artery walls. Since the calcification found in the advanced stage of atherosclerosis dramatically enhances the mechanical properties of the plaque, restoring the original lumen of the artery remains a challenge.
Calcification forms among vascular smooth muscle cells of the surrounding muscular layer, specifically in the muscle cells adjacent to atheromas and on the surface of atheroma plaques and tissue. In time, as cells die, this leads to extracellular calcium deposits between the muscular wall and outer portion of the atheromatous plaques.
Complications of advanced atherosclerosis are chronic, slowly progressive and cumulative. Most commonly, soft plaque suddenly ruptures, causing the formation of a thrombus that will rapidly slow or stop blood flow, leading to death of the tissues fed by the artery in approximately 5 minutes. This catastrophic event is called an infarction. One of the most common recognized scenarios is called coronary thrombosis of a coronary artery, causing a heart attack. The same process in an artery to the brain is commonly called stroke. Another common scenario in very advanced disease is claudication from insufficient blood supply to the legs, typically caused by a combination of both stenosis and aneurysmal segments narrowed with clots.
Modern medicine use high-speed rotational atherectomy, when performed with an ablating grinder to remove the plaque, produces much better results in the treatment of calcified plaque compared to other methods.
However, the high-speed rotation of the Rotablator commercial rotational atherectomy device produces microcavitation, which should be avoided because of the serious complications it can cause. This research involves the development of a high-speed rotational ablation tool that does not generate microcavitation.
Future nanomedical devices can avoid this problem and also they can make atherectomy non-invasive and simply procedure.
For more information, visit www.nanobotmodels.com.