Charles Stent and the mystery behind the word “stent”

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Stents have come to be well-known devices and are being used widely in numerous branches of medicine. It is intriguing that the word “stent” actually derives from the name of a dentist, Charles Stent, who developed a material to obtain dental impressions. There are numerous other theories as to the origin of the word and how its use has been extended to various fields in medicine. The origin of intravascular stenting took place as early as 1912, but it was not until Charles Dotter reinvented the wheel in 1969 that further development took place in the technology and techniques of stenting. Intracranial stenting is a relatively new and rapidly developing field that came into being not more than 12 years ago. The authors describe the life and works of Charles Stent, discuss the possible origins of the word stent, and discuss how intravascular and intracranial stenting came into existence.

Article Information

Address correspondence to: Anil Nanda, M.D., M.P.H., Department of Neurosurgery, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, 1501 Kings Highway, Shreveport, Louisiana 71130-3932. email:

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online April 12, 2013; DOI: 10.3171/2013.3.JNS122112.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.



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    Charles Thomas Stent (1807–1885). Courtesy of the American Academy of the History of Dentistry.

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    Logo of Stent's compound.

  • View in gallery

    Dental articulating frame developed by Charles Stent. Courtesy of the American Academy of the History of Dentistry.

  • View in gallery

    Book in which Charles Stent described the Stent's material.



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