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Sci Rep. 2019 May 2;9(1):6839. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-43095-9.

Intrinsic coating morphology modulates acute drug transfer in drug-coated balloon therapy.

Author information

1
Section of Computational Biomedicine, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, 02118, USA.
2
Biomedical Engineering Program, College of Engineering and Computing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208, USA.
3
Renal Section, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, 02118, USA.
4
Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, 02118, USA.
5
Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA.
6
Section of Computational Biomedicine, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, 02118, USA. vkola@bu.edu.
7
Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, 02118, USA. vkola@bu.edu.
8
Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA, 02215, USA. vkola@bu.edu.

Abstract

The hallmark of drug-coated balloon (DCB) therapy for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease is that it allows for reopening of the narrowed lumen and local drug delivery without the need for a permanent indwelling metal implant such as a stent. Current DCB designs rely on transferring drugs such as paclitaxel to the arterial vessel using a variety of biocompatible excipients coated on the balloons. Inherent procedural challenges, along with limited understanding of the interactions between the coating and the artery, interactions between the coating and the balloon as well as site-specific differences, have led to DCB designs with poor drug delivery efficiency. Our study is focused on two clinically significant DCB excipients, urea and shellac, and uses uniaxial mechanical testing, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and biophysical modeling based on classic Hertz theory to elucidate how coating microstructure governs the transmission of forces at the coating-artery interface. SEM revealed shellac-based coatings to contain spherical-shaped microstructural elements whereas urea-based coatings contained conical-shaped microstructural elements. Our model based on Hertz theory showed that the interactions between these intrinsic coating elements with the arterial wall were fundamentally different, even when the same external force was applied by the balloon on the arterial wall. Using two orthogonal cell-based assays, our study also found differential viability when endothelial cells were exposed to titrated concentrations of urea and shellac, further highlighting the need to maximize coating transfer efficiency in the context of DCB therapies. Our results underscore the significance of the excipient in DCB design and suggest that coating microstructure modulates acute drug transfer during device deployment.

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