Sustained Delivery of Nitric Oxide from Poly(ethylene glycol) Hydrogels Enhances Endothelialization in a Rat Carotid Balloon Injury Model
The continuing high incidence of vascular disease is leading to a greater need for interventional therapies and vascular prostheses. Nitric oxide (NO), which has been heavily investigated in recent years as an important biological mediator, is presented in this work as a sustained localized therapeutic for vascular disorders, specifically in the prevention of restenosis. NO-releasing PEG hydrogels were applied to the outer surfaces of carotid arteries following balloon denudation in a rat animal model. NO was allowed to diffuse into the vessel, and intimal thickening, as assessed after 2 and 28 days, was almost fully eliminated, showing an approximate 90% decrease. Meanwhile, endothelial cell migration and proliferation into the damaged vessel sections were observed. These results signify that these materials are suitable to prevent intimal hyperplasia and induce endothelialization in vivo, making these NO-releasing hydrogels an ideal candidate for incorporation into blood-contacting devices for the prevention of restenosis. © 2011 Biomedical Engineering Society.
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