Layered Repair

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Science  13 Jun 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5626, pp. 1623-1625
DOI: 10.1126/science.300.5626.1623e

Depositing alternating layers of charged polymers (polyelectrolytes) is one way to build up surfaces in a controllable fashion, and Thierry et al. have applied this layer-by-layer approach to protect the insides of blood vessels. During operations, such as the reopening of blocked arteries, the vessel walls are often damaged and lose portions of the protective endothelial cell lining. These vessels are then susceptible to the accumulation of debris, which leads to a narrowing of the artery (restenosis). Alternating layers of hyaluronan and chitosan were used to coat the walls of aortic porcine arteries; the growth of blood clots was substantially inhibited in comparison to uncoated, damaged arteries. Both of these polysaccharides are known to be biocompatible and to have healing capabilities and anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the hyaluronan was replaced with a hyaluronan-arginine complex in order to see if the multilayer coating could mimic the localized drug delivery aspect of the latest generation of stents. Although most of the arginine was released in an initial burst, it did help to reduce the adhesion of platelets to the artery walls.—MSL

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/ja034321x (2003).

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