Urinary stents (ureteral-urethral, polymeric-metallic), are routinely used. They have many indications, but their main function is to facilitate urine drainage, as internal scaffolds, in cases of urinary obstruction caused by lithiasis, cancer, benign disease, surgery, kidney transplant, etc. However, despite their great usefulness, urinary stents are associated to big side effects and complications that reduce their efficacy. This leads to a significant impairment in the patient’s quality of life and to an increase in health costs.
As part of ENIUS, we developed two Working groups:
WG4. Biomaterials and stent coatings. The WG4 will work on the search of new biomaterials-nanomaterials and coatings with improved behavior at urinary tract level when used for manufacturing stents. The aim with this WG is to determine the characteristics of the new biomaterials and coatings (polymeric, non-polymeric, biodegradables and/or metallic) that are involved in the improvement of stent success rate and stent-related morbidity.
WG5. Drug Eluting Stents (DESs) (M20-M48). Following the idea of incorporating drugs onto the stent surface, several substances have already been used in DESs in an attempt to diminish stent-related adverse effects. An alternative novel tool for the confrontation of urothelial hyperplasia or Urinary tract infection following metallic stenting is expected to be provided from the use of DESs. It is expected that with the improvement of the designs, Nano-Technology, making them more biocompatible, their features will be optimized and reduce side effects. The use of DESs in the ureter and urethra has been limited to few experimental studies. It remains to be proven if the promising benefit of DESs will eventually become a part of urological practice.
We consider that the absence of an interdisciplinary network is the most important factor responsible for stent related morbidity. For this reason, engineers, researchers and urologist should meet and share needs and proposals for improvement in urinary stents.