A viewpoint on material and design considerations for oesophageal stents with extended lifetime

Caitlin E. Jackson, Liam S. J. Johnson, Dominic A. Williams, Hans-ulrich Laasch, Derek W. Edwards, Alison G. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oesophageal stents are meshed tubular implants designed to maintain patency of the oesophageal lumen and attenuate the symptoms of oesophageal cancer. Oesophageal cancers account for one in twenty cancer diagnoses and can lead to dysphasia, malnutrition and the diminishment of patient quality of life (QOL). Self-expanding oesophageal stents are the most common approach to attenuate these symptoms. Recent advances in oncological therapy have enabled patient survival beyond the lifetime of current devices. This introduces new complications for palliation, driving the need for innovation in stent design. This review identifies the factors responsible for stent failure. It explores the challenges of enhancing the longevity of stent therapies and outlines solutions to improving clinical outcomes. Discussions focus on the role of stent materials, construction methods, and coatings upon device performance. We found three key stent enhancement strategies currently used; material surface treatments, anti-migratory modifications, and biodegradable skeletons. Furthermore, radioactive and drug eluting stent designs were identified as emerging novel treatments. In conclusion, the review offers an overview of remaining key challenges in oesophageal stent design and potential solutions. It is clear that further research is needed to improve the clinical outcome of stents and patient QOL.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-26
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number1
Early online date3 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2022


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