This review aims to provide a glimpse into the future of drug-eluting stents (DES). Since their arrival in 2002, DES have transformed the practice of interventional cardiology by drastically reducing restenosis and the need for repeat revascularization. However, data about the potentially fatal long-term risk of stent thrombosis have spurred on research and development to improve upon the first generation of devices. The initial commercially available DES used a stainless steel platform coated with a permanent polymer to provide controlled release of the anti-restenotic drug. The platform, polymer and drug are all targets for improvement. More advanced metallic and fully biodegradable stent platforms are currently under investigation. The permanent polymer coating, a likely contributor adverse events, is being superseded by biocompatible and bioabsorbable alternatives. New drugs and drug combinations are also a research goal, as interventional cardiologists and the industry strive towards safer anti-restenotic DES. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.