Stents used to arrest the growth of tissues in arteries can also have life threatening side effects like blood clots and heart attacks.
Now, researchers have developed a computer model that explains why those drugs released from stents accumulate in the arteries and cause blood clots.
The model will allow the scientists to predict drug distribution in branched arteries.
The findings explain why drugs can pile up in certain areas, depending on where the stent is placed relative to forks in the artery.
"By observing the arterial drug distribution patterns for various settings, we understood that drug released from the stent does not reach uniformly to all regions of the vessel and this non-uniformity depends on where the stent is placed in the artery as well as the blood flow that is entering the vessel," said Edelman.
The new study would help stent developers design safer and more effective stents.
It also raises the possibility of designing individualized stents for patients. It could aid the FDA in its approval process for stents.
The results of the study appear in PLoS One.