SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM SCIENTIFIC, TECHNOLOGICAL, AND/OR SOCIOECONOMIC IMPACTS
- Scientific. The improvement in the collaboration through a multidisciplinary network will allow, in the first place, the detection of the most important factors that cause urinary stent failure. Not only from a medical point of view, but concerning also aspects like industrial design and the use of different biomaterials and coatings. Thus, in a short term, guidelines and publications regarding these stent failure causes will be produced thanks to this network. This Action will impact the current state of art of Optimization of Urinary Stent Design. On the other hand, this network will allow the different groups that compose the Action to create synergies in order to solve gaps that appear in their researches. At this current moment, these groups investigate for stent improvement separately from one another. Through this network, these groups and Industry partners will move forward together towards the optimization of the design to reduce stent-related morbidity. There will be therefore a global development at a scientific level of great impact, whose final objective will be the improvement of urinary stents as a whole. It is very important to point out that a new field that opens up after this Action, which is the computational simulation of the urinary tract. This allows us to include new tools that nowadays are not being used in Urological Research. This new area of scientific development has high impact short- and long-term, as it opens a window for the development of urological medical devices, decreasing research costs.
- Socioeconomics. The ultimate goal of this Action is the improvement of the quality of life of stented patients. In Europe, it affects hundreds of thousands of patients, including kidney transplant patients, patients suffering from urinary malignant obstruction or urolithiasis, pediatric patients with congenital malformations, etc. For this reason, the health impact is very high and involves directly the European population. The economic impact is very important as well. On the one hand, it is intended to reduce hospital costs related to urinary stent failure and to the impairment of the patients' quality of life. Existing stents increase hospital stay. They also raise pharmaceutical expenditure due to excessive consumption of antibiotics to fight Urinary Tract Infection and of analgesics and other drugs to reduce stent-related discomforts. New biodegradable designs and optimization in urinary stents as a result of collaborative work between researchers from different areas of expertise will lead to an important saving in health expenditure. On the other hand, the economic impact also comes from the development of patents and new industrial designs, which is one of the long-term objectives that will result from this COST Action.
- Finally, the Technological Impact. As indicated by the title of the Action, the purpose is the improvement of urinary stents, so the short- and long-term technological impact is one of the essential pillars. The technological development of new urinary stent designs is the result of a multidisciplinary work. As it involves firstly, the detection of the reasons why the stent fails, and secondly the joint work of experts in new biomaterials, coatings, drug eluting stents and biodegradable polymers. Furthermore, there is also great technological impact in providing new tools for the progress of the therapeutics of renal diseases, by means of 3D-printing, Nanotechnology, Stem cells applications and computational simulation of the urinary tract. The results from this Action will be used for future calls for “Horizon 2020”.