Lison Rocher (ESR 1)
In 2019, I received a Master’s degree in Materials Sciences and Engineering from INSA Lyon. During 4 years, this education provided me with a solid knowledge of mechanics, physical and chemical properties and manufacturing processes of structural materials. During the final year of my masters, I went to Imperial College London to specialize in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering. There, I discovered bioresorbable polymers, and the System Physiology course particularly drew my attention to the vascular system. My research project, in collaboration with an industrial partner, allowed me to further develop my problem solving skill set and robust interest in research.
After completing my degree, joining Bioimplant was a perfect opportunity for me. This program allows me to fully engage in a research project that emphasizes my study interests: the development of innovative vascular stents. I hope that this synergistic context of the collaboration between Boston Scientific and Queen’s University Belfast will give me the opportunity to acquire strong advanced technical skills and to build my future career in the medical technology industry.
Drug eluting stents (DES) are the current gold standard to treat coronary artery disease but this device remains in the body and may cause late stage restenosis and thrombosis after a couple of years. To overcome the long term safety issue of DES, bioresorbable vascular stents (BVS) have the ability to fully degrade in the body within three years after the vessel healing. However current limitations of BVS like their lower mechanical properties, microstructural heterogeneities and lack of radioapacity have to be improved.
The aim of this project is to reinforce of Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) with appropriate nanoparticles and then optimize the stretch blow moulding to improve the mechanical properties of BVS. The first step will be to identify the most suitable loading and types of nanoparticles to achieve this goal. A second objective will be to analyse the influence of stretch blow moulding on stiffness, strength and microstructure of the nanocomposite. Characterisation of the nanocomposite will be assessed after extrusion, stretch blow moulding and crimping processes using techniques of DMA, DSC, SEM and x-ray diffraction. The expected scaffold produced at the end of the PhD will have improved mechanical properties compared to a neat PLLA BVS which would lead to the development of thinner and stronger scaffolds.