Abbott Laboratories is betting heart patients will benefit from a new type of arterial stent that dissolves away when it is no longer needed. Stents are scaffold-like devices used to prop open clogged heart arteries. Most stents are made of metal. But Abbott's new device, called Absorb, is made from a plastic-like material called polylactide that is commonly used in surgical sutures. The Absorb scaffold—Abbott doesn't call it a stent—is designed to completely fade away in two years and to cease supporting arteries at six months. Abbott won European regulatory approval for Absorb this year, but the company plans only limited marketing there until it gathers more supporting medical evidence next year. The company doesn't expect to file an application seeking U.S. regulatory approval until 2015.