In vivo evaluation of a pro-healing polydopamine coated stent through an in-stent restenosis rat model†
Drug-eluting stents have demonstrated efficiency in in-stent restenosis (ISR) but induced a risk of late acute thrombosis by delaying strut re-endothelialization. Polydopamine (PDA), a biocompatible polymer inspired from adhesive proteins of mussels, has been reported to promote endothelial cell (EC) proliferation while limiting SMC proliferation in vitro, thus suggesting the pro-healing potential. This study aimed at evaluating in vivo the impact of the pro-healing PDA-coated stent on ISR and on the quality of the strut re-endothelialization in a rat model. PDA-coated stents demonstrated a significant reduction in ISR in vivo compared to bare metal stents (ratio neointima/media = 0.48 (±0.26) versus 0.83 (±0.42), p < 0.001). Western blot analyses identified a trend towards an increased activation of p38 MAPK phosphorylation and its anti-proliferative effects on vascular SMC that could explain the results observed in morphological analyses. This bioinspired and biocompatible polydopamine layer could intrinsically limit ISR. In addition, according to its latent reactivity, PDA offers the possibility to immobilize some relevant drugs on the PDA-functionalized stent to provide potential synergistic effects.