The assignee for this patent, patent number 8523937, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Delivery of a therapeutic agent via an implantable device is desirable for a variety of applications. For example, therapeutic agents applied to an implantable device may treat or mitigate such undesirable conditions as restenosis, inflammation, tumor development, or thrombosis formation.
"Procedures for mitigating such conditions may include implantation of a device comprising a therapeutic agent. For example, implantations of stents during angioplasty procedures have substantially advanced the treatment of occluded blood vessels. Occasionally, angioplasty may be followed by an abrupt closure of the vessel or by a more gradual closure of the vessel, commonly known as 'restenosis.' Acute closure may result from an elastic rebound of the vessel wall and/or by the deposition of blood platelets and fibrin along a damaged length of the newly opened blood vessel. Restenosis may result from the natural healing reaction to the injury to the vessel wall (known as intimal hyperplasia), which involves the migration and proliferation of medial smooth muscle cells that continues until the vessel is again occluded.
"To prevent such vessel occlusion, stents have been implanted within a body vessel. However, restenosis may still occur over the length of the stent and/or past the ends of the stent where the inward forces of the stenosis are unopposed. To reduce this problem, one or more therapeutic agents may be administered to the patient. For example, a therapeutic agent may be locally administered through a catheter positioned within the body vessel near the stent, or by coating the stent with the therapeutic agent.
"Desirably, a medical device coated with a therapeutic agent is adapted to expose tissue within the body to the therapeutic agent over a desired time interval, such as by releasing the therapeutic agent. Desirably, the therapeutic agent is released within the body at a reproducible and predictable fashion so as to optimize the benefit of the therapeutic agent to the patient over the desired period of time. Providing coated medical devices adapted to release a therapeutic agent at a desired rate over a period of time is one challenge in designing implantable medical devices. For example, a coated medical device may release a therapeutic agent at a greater rate than desired upon implantation, and subsequently release the therapeutic agent at a slower rate than desired at some time after implantation.
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