Incorporation of Nitric Oxide-Releasing Crosslinked Polyethyleneimine Microspheres into Vascular Grafts

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1997


Over the years, many attempts have been made to increase the patency of small- to medium-sized prosthetic vascular grafts. However, none of them has greatly affected long-term rates. Recently, nitric oxide (NO) has been shown to inhibit thrombus formation in such grafts, suggesting that local delivery of NO may help to increase graft patency. This study describes the site-specific delivery of NO by entrapping NO-releasing microspheres in the pores of a vascular graft. NO-releasing polyethyleneimine microspheres (PEIX) were developed using a novel water-in-oil emulsion technique involving chemical crosslinking with a bis-epoxide. The PEIX microspheres were then derivatized with NO forming the [N(O)NO]- moiety of the diazeniumdiolates formerly known as NONOates. These polymeric NO-releasing particles were found to spontaneously release 194 nmol NO/mg with a half-life of over 66 h under physiologic conditions. Fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled microspheres were then embedded into the pores of a 60-micron nonreinforced Gore-tex vascular graft using a simple evacuation technique and evaluated for microsphere placement and NO release. Scanning electron microscopic analysis showed the microspheres entrapped in the pores of the vascular graft releasing 10 nmol NO/mg with a half-life of 51 h. The microspheres remained entrapped in the graft even after immersion and NO release, as confirmed by fluorescence of the medium. These results suggest that NO-releasing particles can be incorporated into the pores of a vascular graft to deliver therapeutic amounts of NO for the prevention of thrombosis in small-diameter prosthetic grafts.

Publication Title

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research





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