Simple Stents: transforming ureteral stenting
Three out of 20 men and two out of 20 women in the UK are diagnosed with kidney stones during their lifetime. Ureteral stenting is a critical component in the treatment of kidney stones and bladder or prostate tumours, aiding the healing process and reducing the risk of complications following surgery. A standard urinary stent is a thin and flexible tube that is used by clinicians to allow for temporary fluid drainage in cases of internal or external urinary obstructions.
Each intervention of ureteral stenting currently costs the NHS £3,000. However, various complications such as encrustation and bacterial colonisation contribute to over 50 percent of stents failing, impacting negatively on patients’ quality of life and significantly increasing the cost for healthcare providers. Emergency stent replacement procedures, such as those caused by stent failures, can cost the NHS up to £6,000 per procedure.
Researchers from the University of Southampton are pioneering an innovative stent design that delivers significant healthcare improvements to patients by providing a cost-effective reduction in particle deposition in ureteric stents.
Founded by Bioengineering PhD student Ali Mosayyebi, the Simple Stents spinout builds upon ground breaking research at Southampton’s Bioengineering Science group, carried out with Dr Dario Carugo and Dr Costantino Manes. The unique design relies on the ability to guide the flow of urine within the stent to minimise deposition and attachment of encrusting particles, and could potentially reduce the need to use antibiotics. The design can also be easily adapted to existing stent materials and surface coatings, resulting in simple industrial and clinical translation.
“The stent design is cheaper to manufacture, can be adapted to standard materials and coatings, and could result in significantly lower failure rates,” Ali explains. “This will reduce the pain, inconvenience and cost of stent failures, lowering hospital re-admissions and expensive emergency procedures.”
Ali has already engaged with key manufacturers and clinical collaborators to test Simple Stents prototypes and the team is seeking mentors and investors with industry knowledge and network connections to help maximise the potential of this product and bring this revolutionary innovation to market. You can get in touch with Ali and the Simple Stents team through the contact form on this page.
With minimal regulatory requirements, Simple Stents has the potential to quickly become established in a growing market that is currently worth more than half a billion pounds per annum for urinary stents alone and forecast to grow by eight percent before 2023.
Simple Stents has already successfully filed a patent for the design and in the future the team plans to build on the research and expand into other stent markets to extensively improve health care treatments for millions of people worldwide.