Impairment of Eustachian tube function with nonsufficient ventilation of the middle ear is a main cause for chronic otitis media. To provide an effective and safe therapy, the innovative concept of Eustachian tube stenting was established. Biodegradable polymeric stents are developed to restore impaired tube function and dissolve after fulfilling their supportive purpose. To evaluate the applicability of the stents in the Eustachian tube, prototypes in conjunction with corresponding implantation instruments were tested in human cadaver studies. Radiopaque markers and a diaphanoscopic approach were tested as additional features to prove correct positioning of catheter and stent in the tube. In the current study biodegradable polymeric stents were implanted in the Eustachian tube of human cadavers without difficulty. Correct positioning of the stents in the tube was proved by diaphanoscopy during intervention and postoperative tomographic and histological analyses. Once designs are optimized on the basis of cadaver studies, preclinical safety and efficacy studies using animal models will be initiated.
© 2020 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston
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