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A comparative study of the effects of vitamin C, sirolimus, and paclitaxel on the growth of endothelial and smooth muscle cells for cardiovascular medical device applications

Authors Kakade S, Mani G

Received 13 March 2013

Accepted for publication 2 May 2013

Published 24 June 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 529—544


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Sandeep Kakade, Gopinath Mani

Biomedical Engineering Program, The University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls, SD, USA

Abstract: Antiproliferative drugs such as sirolimus (SIR) and paclitaxel (PAT) are currently released from stents and vascular grafts to inhibit the growth of smooth muscle cells (SMCs), thereby preventing neointimal hyperplasia. However, these drugs delay or impair the growth of endothelial cells (ECs) on implant surfaces causing late thrombosis. Hence, there is a need to use alternative drugs in these implants to encourage the growth of ECs and to inhibit the growth of SMCs. Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid [L-AA]) is one such drug which has been shown to encourage EC growth and inhibit SMC growth when orally administered or added directly to the cell cultures. In this research, four sets of in vitro cell culture experiments were carried out to compare the effects of L-AA, SIR, and PAT on the growth of ECs and SMCs under similar conditions, and to compare the effects of different doses of L-AA to determine the optimal dose for promoting maximum EC growth and inhibiting SMC growth. The ECs and SMCs treated with different drugs were characterized for their viability and proliferation, and morphology using the quantitative resazurin assay (as well as qualitative fluorescence microscopy characterization) and phase contrast microscopy, respectively, for up to 7 days. Also, the phenotype of ECs was characterized using immunofluorescence microscopy. Both SIR and PAT significantly inhibited the EC growth while L-AA significantly encouraged EC growth even more than that of the controls with no drugs. Also, L-AA significantly inhibited SMC growth although the inhibitory effect was inferior to that of SIR and PAT. The L-AA dosage study demonstrated that 100 µg and 300 µg of L-AA showed maximum EC growth after 7 days when compared to other dosages (1 µg, 500 µg, and 1000 µg) of L-AA and controls investigated in this study. Also, the 100 µg and 300 µg L-AA doses significantly inhibited the SMC growth. Thus, this study demonstrates that L-AA is a promising drug for potential use in stents and vascular grafts, to promote their endothelialization and inhibit neointimal hyperplasia.

Keywords: stents, drug-eluting stents, thrombosis, endothelial cells, cardiovascular

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