DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Mitchell Baker

Mr. Ashcraft

Mentorship, Period 4                                                                                              

3 January 2011

Summary Reflection: Quarter 2

            Throughout the year, my project has steadily progressed, with an emphasis now on understanding and researching the applications and clinical use of OCT (Optical Coherence Technology) technology in stent implantation and testing.  Beginning with past summer, I was given the opportunity to intern at my Mentor’s laboratory where I completed a wide spectrum of tasks and was able to witness firsthand research applying various kinematic analysis programs to stent scans taken through the center's multi-modality suite.  Learning to understand the data gathered from these programs, I gained valuable knowledge in recognizing the various aspects of arterial change, including length, curvature, twist, and elipticity.  Through these, it is well known that stent interaction with the surrounding vessel changes, resulting in unforeseen complications, including stent fracture and the inflammation of the neointimal tissue.  Specifically, the irritation of this inner layer, which is crucial to the health and function of the vessel, can result in the formation of stent thrombosis, a primary factor in stent failure and the development of arterial blockages.  In addition, when combined with the presence of drug eluting stents, these factors become magnified, with the drugs themselves inhibiting the development of neointimal tissue, which then results in restonosis and hardening of the surrounding tissue.   I also was able to experience several surgeries firsthand and gained valuable insight into the clinical procedures and research process in general through which stents are continuously tested, improving their ability to assist in enhancing blood flow through occluded vessels. The recent widespread adaption of OCT scanning technology changed the process through which the above data was collected, an extremely important part of the process through  conclusions are made regarding vessel/stent interaction and performance.  Dramatically increasing the detail with which vessels may be viewed, this technology now allows researchers to gain a far more in-depth and sometimes conclusion altering perspective of what is exactly occurring within the stented environment.  As a result, my project shifted into its current state, with a focus on the prospective application and potential of this scanning modality in the development of interventional cardiovascular devices.  Currently, my ability to visit my Mentorship site has been stifled due to conflictions with transportation, so I have been limited solely to communication via email with my Mentor and research through various online sources.   Although, this has been difficult, I have been able to continue research and stay up to date with several projects involving the reinterpretation of old data with OCT technology.  Resulting with the detection of minute details, such as the neointimal covering of stent struts, this technology has altered previous opinions of DES and bare metal stent efficiency, including the inaccuracy of IVUS (Intravascular ultrasound), a traditional method for imaging stent coverage, in assessing the developing of tissue surrounding stent struts.  As of now, my project continues to be solely based upon research and experience gained from my summer internship as well as current publications found through online resources.  In the near future, I hope to begin regularly visiting my mentor site in order to continue gathering on-site data and valuable lab experience in dealing with the computer modeling of stent scans.  Overall, I have continued to progress in further understanding the concepts behind OCT scanning technology and stent analysis throughout the year, and plan to continue with my lab-based experience sometime in the near future.  



DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.