His Invention of the Balloon-Expandable Stent Forever Changed Pediatric Cardiology
LAS VEGAS (May 10, 2012) — When Julio Palmaz, MD, began his groundbreaking work on balloon-expandable stents in the late 1970s, he wasn’t thinking of sick kids. But thanks to his spirit of innovation and a fruitful collaboration with pediatric cardiology pioneer Dr. Charles E. Mullins, Dr. Palmaz forever changed the lives of children with congenital heart disease.
Today in a keynote Mullins Lecture at the SCAI 2012 Scientific Sessions, Dr. Palmaz will recount how the same devices envisioned for use in treating clogged coronary arteries in adults have transformed pediatric cardiology and allowed less invasive treatment of congenital heart defects.
“Congenital heart disease is one of the most critical, risky and difficult challenges in medicine,” said Dr. Palmaz, professor of radiology and Ashbel Smith Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “People dedicated to treating children with these problems combine very hard work, resourcefulness and passion. Chuck Mullins is the ultimate example of this, and I was lucky to share some early stent work in this area with him.”
Dr. Palmaz is credited with inventing the balloon-expandable stent.
"Dr. Palmaz revolutionized the treatment of congenital heart disease with the development of the stent in 1985," said Daniel S. Levi, MD, FSCAI, chair of the Congenital Heart Disease Program at SCAI 2012, and an interventional pediatric cardiologist at Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA in Los Angeles. “He continues to push the envelope with new and equally creative devices at his newest business venture, Palmaz Scientific.”
During his keynote, Dr. Palmaz will discuss how continued advancement in stent technology will be slower, more challenging, and more expensive than past achievements. Developers must move past mere refinements in existing stent design to take advantage of micro and nanotechnology. The next wave of innovation in stent technology could chart a new course in medical devices, he said.
“The landscape of potential innovations is broader than it appears,” Dr. Palmaz said. “There are technologies available today for vascular device development that are far removed from those in current use. By pursuing these developments, we may pave the way for innovations other than stents, such as implantable artificial organs and risk monitoring devices.”
Dr. Palmaz is chairman of the board and chief scientist for Palmaz Scientific.
Dr. Palmaz will present the Mullins Lecture study on Thursday, May 10, 2012, 1:00 p.m. to 1:40 p.m. (Pacific Time).