Drug-coated balloons (DCB), which have emerged as therapeutic alternative to drug-eluting stents in percutaneous cardiovascular intervention, are well described with regard to clinical efficiency and safety within a number of clinical studies. In vitro studies elucidating the correlation of coating method and composition with DCB performance are however rare but considered important for the understanding of DCB requirements and the improvement of established DCB. In this context, we evaluated the applicability of a pipetting, dip-coating, and spray-coating process for the establishment of DCB based on paclitaxel (PTX) and the ionic liquid cetylpyridinium salicylate (Cetpyrsal) as novel innovative additive in three different compositions. Among tested methods and compositions, the pipetting process with 50 wt.% PTX resulted in most promising coatings as drug load was less controllable by the other processes and higher PTX contents led to considerable drug crystallization, as visualized by electron microscopy, accelerating PTX loss during short-term elution. Applying these conditions, homogeneous coatings could be applied on balloon catheter, whose simulated use in an in vitro vessel model revealed percental drug losses of 36 and 28% during transit and percental drug transfers of 12 and 40% under expansion for coatings applied in expanded and folded balloon condition, respectively. In comparison to literature values, these results support the high potential of Cetpyrsal as novel DCB matrix regarding low drug loss and efficient drug transfer. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
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