Atherosclerotic lesions that critically narrow the artery can necessitate an angioplasty and stent implantation. Long-term therapeutic effects, however, are limited by excessive arterial remodeling. We here employed a miniaturized nitinol-stent coated with star-shaped polyethylenglycole (star-PEG), and evaluated its bio-functionalization with RGD and CXCL1 for improving in-stent stenosis after implantation into carotid arteries of mice. Nitinol foils or stents (bare metal) were coated with star-PEG, and bio-functionalized with RGD, or RGD/CXCL1. Cell adhesion to star-PEG-coated nitinol foils was unaltered or reduced, whereas bio-functionalization with RGD but foremost RGD/CXCL1 increased adhesion of early angiogenic outgrowth cells (EOCs) and endothelial cells but not smooth muscle cells when compared with bare metal foils. Stimulation of cells with RGD/CXCL1 furthermore increased the proliferation of EOCs. In vivo, bio-functionalization with RGD/CXCL1 significantly reduced neointima formation and thrombus formation, and increased re-endothelialization in apoE-/- carotid arteries compared with bare-metal nitinol stents, star-PEG-coated stents, and stents bio-functionalized with RGD only. Bio-functionalization of star-PEG-coated nitinol-stents with RGD/CXCL1 reduced in-stent neointima formation. By supporting the adhesion and proliferation of endothelial progenitor cells, RGD/CXCL1 coating of stents may help to accelerate endothelial repair after stent implantation, and thus may harbor the potential to limit the complication of in-stent restenosis in clinical approaches.
Simsekyilmaz, S., Liehn, E. A., Weinandy, S., Schreiber, F., Megens, R. T. A., Theelen, W., … Zernecke, A. (2016). Targeting in-stent-stenosis with RGD- and CXCL1-coated mini-stents in mice. PLoS ONE, 11(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0155829