Emerging trends in biliary stents: a materials and manufacturing perspective
Biliary stent technology has come a long way since its inception. There have been significant advancements in the materials used, and design and deployment strategies. Options have expanded from plastic and metallic stents to a wider variety of materials and manufacturing technologies to offer several options to clinicians, including self-expandable metallic stents and bioresorbable stents. Bioresorbable biliary stents are still in the early stages of clinical adoption. This review encompasses the materials currently used for biliary stents and the significant developments in the past few years in the resorbable materials for use as biliary stents. We critically discuss the emerging trends in the development of new resorbable materials for fabricating biliary stents. We then assess the developments in drug-eluting stents and advanced manufacturing technologies that could be leveraged for biliary stents. Challenges in the paths for translation for the future, such as pre-clinical and clinical trials, are highlighted. Finally, we present future directions that could drive the biliary stent market to meet the increasingly complex and diverse clinical needs of patients.