Joner, M; Cheng, Q; Schönhofer-Merl, S; Lopez, M; Neubauer, S; Mas-Moruno, C; Laufer, B; Kolodgie, FD; Kessler, H; Virmani, R
Polymer-free immobilization of a cyclic RGD peptide on a nitinol stent promotes integrin-dependent endothelial coverage of strut surfaces.
This study examined the utility of a stabilized cyclic RGD peptide chemically modified to selectively bind to titanium-oxide for enhanced biocompatibility of self-expanding nitinol stents. Endothelial cells express integrin receptors that promote attachment to subendothelial matrix proteins. Integrin binding to arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) peptide derivatives mimic naturally occurring adherent interactions. Irreversible covalent surface coating of conventional nitinol stents with a cyclic RGD (cRGD) peptide highly specific for integrin alpha v beta 3 might foster endothelialization after stent implantation. A selective cRGD peptide was irreversibly immobilized onto titanium oxide-rich nitinol coupons or self-expanding stents. Functionality of the engrafted RGD peptide was demonstrated using in vitro endothelial bioassays. A subsequent 7-day in vivo endothelialization study was performed using cRGD-coated self-expanding nitinol stents in rabbits. cRGD peptide coating effectively promoted endothelial cell anchorage, migration, and proliferation confirmed by increased focal adhesions. Proof-of-concept studies of rabbit cRGD stent implants showed a significant increase in endothelial coverage above stent struts relative to stents coated with BSA (cRGD = 70.1 ± 21.9 vs. BSA = 49.9 ± 21.8%, p< 0.03). Immobilization of cRGD peptides on strut surfaces represents an innovative strategy to improve endothelialization, which may facilitate vascular healing after stent implantation.