Reduction in thrombosis and bacterial adhesion with 7 day implantation of S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP)-doped Elast-eon E2As catheters in sheep
Thrombosis and infection are two common problems associated with blood-contacting medical devices such as catheters. Nitric oxide (NO) is known to be a potent antimicrobial agent as well as an inhibitor of platelet activation and adhesion. Healthy endothelial cells that line the inner walls of all blood vessels exhibit a NO flux of 0.5–4 × 10−10 mol cm−2 min−1 that helps prevent thrombosis. Materials with a NO flux that is equivalent to this level are expected to exhibit similar anti-thrombotic properties. In this study, NO-releasing catheters were fabricated by incorporating S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) in the Elast-eon E2As polymer. The SNAP/E2As catheters release physiological levels of NO for up to 20 days, as measured by chemiluminescence. Furthermore, SNAP is stable in the E2As polymer, retaining 89% of the initial SNAP after ethylene oxide (EO) sterilization. The SNAP/E2As and E2As control catheters were implanted in sheep veins for 7 days to examine the effect on thrombosis and bacterial adhesion. The SNAP/E2As catheters reduced the thrombus area when compared to the control (1.56 ± 0.76 and 5.06 ± 1.44 cm2, respectively). A 90% reduction in bacterial adhesion was also observed for the SNAP/E2As catheters as compared to the controls. The results suggest that the SNAP/E2As polymer has the potential to improve the hemocompatibility and bactericidal activity of intravascular catheters, as well as other blood-contacting medical devices (e.g., vascular grafts, extracorporeal circuits).