Microfabricated device for arterial wall and atherosclerotic plaque penetration

James R. Kneller, Clarence C. Wu, Simon Watkins, Ahmed Nadeem, Michael Reed, Lee Weiss, Marc D. Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Percutaneous coronary intervention is currently used to treat coronary atherosclerosis but is plagued by restenosis. The atherosclerotic plaque acts as a barrier, preventing the delivery of drugs or gene therapy to prevent restenosis. We hypothesize that microfabricated probes, manufactured using silicon fabrication technology, can penetrate through atherosclerotic plaque, creating paths for therapeutic delivery. Two sets of microfabricated probes (65 ± 15 and 140 ± 20 μm) were deployed in normal and atherosclerotic rabbit iliac artery segments (n=5 each) under distention pressures of 100, 200, 300, and 500 mmHg, to simulate deployed stents. The tissues were fixed while the probes remained in place and analyzed using standard SEM, TEM and light microscopy techniques to evaluate the extent and nature of vessel penetration. In healthy tissue, microprobes are able to pierce the internal elastic lamina and penetrate the media, with the highest probes nearly reaching the media/adventitia boundary. Atherosclerotic plaque is pierced by microprobes at all intraluminal pressures examined. These results indicate that microprobes may serve as a technique to penetrate the atherosclerotic plaque for the purpose of delivering therapeutics beyond the plaque.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2277-2280
Number of pages4
JournalAnnual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology - Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1997 19th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society - Chicago, IL, USA
Duration: Oct 30 1997Nov 2 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics


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