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Biomaterials. 2008 Mar;29(7):894-903. Epub 2007 Nov 28.

Controlled release from multilayer silk biomaterial coatings to modulate vascular cell responses.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA.


A multilayered silk fibroin protein coating system was employed as a drug carrier and delivery system to evaluate vascular cell responses to heparin, paclitaxel, and clopidogrel. The results demonstrated that the silk coating system was an effective system for drug-eluting coatings, such as for stent applications, based on its useful micromechanical properties and biological outcomes. Cell attachment and viability studies with human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs) and human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HCASMCs) on the drug-incorporated silk coatings demonstrated that paclitaxel and clopidogrel inhibited smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation and retarded endothelial cell proliferation. Heparin-loaded silk multilayers promoted HAEC proliferation while inhibiting HCASMC proliferation, desired outcomes for the prevention of restenosis. The preservation of the phenotype of endothelial cells on silk and heparin-loaded silk coatings was confirmed with the presence of endothelial markers CD-31, CD-146, vWF and VE-Cadherin using immunocytochemistry assays. A preliminary in-vivo study in a porcine aorta showed integrity of the silk coatings after implantation and the reduction of platelet adhesion on the heparin-loaded silk coatings.

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