Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Pharm. 2005 Dec 8;306(1-2):132-41. Epub 2005 Oct 24.

Strategies for improving the functionality of an affinity bioreactor.

Author information

College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1065, USA.


Heparin employed in extracorporeal blood circulation (ECBC) procedures (e.g. open heart operations) often leads to a high incidence of bleeding complications. Protamine employed in heparin neutralization, on the other hand, can cause severe adverse reactions. We previously developed an approach that could prevent both heparin- and protamine-induced toxic side effects concomitantly. This approach consisted of placing a hollow fiber-based bioreactor device containing immobilized protamine (termed a "protamine bioreactor") at the distal end of the ECBC procedure. This protamine bioreactor would remove heparin after heparin served its anticoagulant purpose in the ECBC device, thereby eliminating heparin-induced bleeding risks. In addition, this protamine bioreactor would prevent protamine from entering the patients, thereby aborting any protamine-induced toxic effects. Both in vitro and in vivo studies have successfully demonstrated the feasibility of this approach. Despite promises, early findings also revealed two shortcomings that must be overcome for the protamine bioreactor to be applied clinically. The first drawback was that the cyanate ester linkages, involved in conjugating protamine to the bioreactor device, were unstable and prone to hydrolysis, resulting in the leakage of a significant amount of protamine into circulation during application of the protamine bioreactor. The second deficiency was that the capacity of the protamine bioreactor in heparin removal was rather low, owing to the limited surface area of the hollow fibers for protamine immobilization and subsequently heparin adsorption. In this paper, we present novel strategies to overcome these two limitations. A new conjugation method based on the use of 4-(oxyacetyl)phenoxyacetic acid (OAPA) as the activating reagent was employed to yield stable linkages, via the abundant arginine residues of protamine, onto the hollow fibers. Results showed that while the amount of protamine immobilized on each gram of fibers was relatively comparable between the OAPA and the previous CNBr activation methods (7.45 mg/g versus 7.69 mg/g fibers), there was virtually no detectable leaching of immobilized protamine from the bioreactor by the OAPA method, comparing to 35% leaching of protamine by the previous CNBr method following 72 h of storage of the bioreactor in PBS buffer at 37 degrees C. To improve the capacity and functionality of the protamine bioreactor, two novel approaches were adopted. Long chain and high molecular weight poly-lysine was linked to the hollow fibers, prior to protamine coupling, to create multiple layers of immobilized protamine for subsequent heparin adsorption. In addition, a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) chain was inserted between protamine and the hollow fibers to yield a three-dimensional, free dynamic motion for immobilized protamine. Preliminary observations indicated that a four- to five-fold enhancement in heparin adsorption was attained by utilizing each of these new approaches. Aside from their current use, these new strategies can also be employed generically to improve the functionality of any affinity-type bioreactor. Indeed, efforts have been made recently in utilizing these approaches to develop a clinically usable GPIIb/IIIa bioreactor for the treatment of immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)-an autoimmune disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center