Phosphorylcholine-based polymer coatings for stent drug delivery

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Abstract

Phosphorylcholine-based polymers have been used commercially to improve the biocompatibility of coronary stents. In this study, one particular polymer is assessed for its suitability as a drug delivery vehicle. Membranes of the material are characterized in terms of water content and molecular weight cut-off, and the presence of hydrophilic and hydrophobic domains investigated by use of the hydrophobic probe pyrene. The in vitro loading and elution of a variety of drugs was assessed using stents coated with the polymer. The rate of a drug's release was shown not to be simply a function of its water solubility, but rather more closely related to the drug oil/water partition coefficient. This finding was explained in terms of the more hydrophobic drugs partitioning into, and interacting with, the hydrophobic domains of the polymer coating. The suitability of the coated stent as a drug delivery vehicle was assessed in vivo using a radiolabeled analog of one of the more rapidly eluting drugs, angiopeptin. Autoradiography showed that the drug was released locally to the wall of the stented artery, and could be detected up to 28 days after implantation.

© 2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers