Left to Right: NETL’s Paul Jablonski, Paul Turner, Ed Argetsinger, and Jeffrey Hansen

For their work on the development, transfer, and successful commercialization of a novel platinum-chromium alloy used in next-generation coronary stents, scientists at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), and their colleagues, were honored with a 2015 ASM Engineering Materials Achievement Award from the materials science and engineering society ASM International. The team received the award at a banquet on Tuesday, October 6, held in conjunction with the 2015 Materials Science and Technology meeting in Columbus, Ohio.

NETL’s Edward Argetsinger, Jeffrey Hansen, Paul Jablonski, and Paul Turner developed the alloy in collaboration with researchers at Boston Scientific Corporation. It is the first stainless steel formulation for stents with a significant concentration of platinum, making it easier for coronary specialists to see the stent on x-ray during placement and expansion.  The alloy also increases the stents’ corrosive resistance, strength and flexibility.

Stents made from the alloy benefit patients by shortening recovery time and avoiding follow-on procedures and more invasive surgery, which reduces healthcare costs. Since their commercial introduction in 2010, the stents have generated more than $6 billion in sales and captured a 25 percent U.S. share and a significant global share of the coronary stent market.

Engineered and manufactured in the United States, the stent series has created 450 sustainable domestic jobs. Carpenter Specialty Alloys, Accellent and Minitubes Corporation also played a role in the chain from laboratory to market that made the alloy and subsequent stents a success.

The ASM International award, which has recognized outstanding materials science advancements since its inception in 1969, is the latest in long line of accolades and distinctions conferred upon NETL and its researchers as a result of this important work. Over the past few years, the NETL–Boston Scientific research team captured several prestigious awards for the alloy:

  • A 2011 R&D 100 Award, given by R&D Magazine to recognize the 100 most technologically significant products entering the marketplace each year.
  • A technology transfer award for “Outstanding Commercialization Success” from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer
  • The U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Achievement Award.

The team has also been nominated for the United States Patent Office’s Presidential Medal for Innovation.