Posts Tagged ‘Drug delivery’

Rare earth-doped nanoparticles applications in biological imaging and tumor treatment

Reporter: Irina Robu, PhD

Bioimaging  aims to interfere as little as possible with life processes and can be used to gain information on the 3-D structure of the observed specimen from the outside. Bioimaging ranges from  the observation of subcellular structures and the entire cells over tissues up to entire multicellular organisms. The technology uses light, fluorescence, ultrasound, X-ray, magnetic resonance as sources of imaging. The more common imaging is fluorescence imaging which is used to monitor the dynamic interaction between the drug molecules and tumor cells and the ability to monitor the real time dynamic process in biological tissues.

Researchers from the Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics (XIOPM) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) described the recent progress they made in the rare earth-doped nanoparticles in the field of bio-engineering and tumor treatment. It is well known that producing small nanoparticles with good dispersion and exploitable optical coherence properties is highly challenging. According to them, these rare earth-doped nanoparticles can be vested with additional capabilities such as water solubility, biocompatibility, drug-loading ability and the target ability for different tumors by surface functionalization. The luminescent properties and structure design were also looked at.

According to the Chinese researchers, for applying the RE-doped NPs to the diagnosis and treatment of tumors, their first goal is to improve water solubility and biocompatibility.  The second goal would be to give the nanoparticles the ability to target tumors by surface functionalization. Lastly, biocompatible water-soluble tumor-targeting NPs can be used as carriers to load drugs for treatment of tumor cells. All things considered, the recent research progress on the development of fluorescence intensity of NPs, surface modification, and tumor targeted diagnosis and treatment has also been emphasized.



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Boston biotech tries to retrofit a drug to prevent COVID-19’s aftereffects

Reporter : Irina Robu, PhD

Antivirals are a class of medications that can be used to treat viral infections. Yet, most viral infections can be solved quickly in immunocompetent individuals. The goal of the viral therapy is to minimize symptoms and infectivity as well as cut the duration of the illness. These antiviral drugs act by arresting the viral replication cycle at various stages and they do not deactivate or destroy the microbe.

Yet, as the world scrambles to find antiviral treatments and vaccines for the novel coronavirus, some scientists are looking ahead of the problem partly because many COVID-19 survivors may have long-term lung injuries and the current medicine has little to offer.

There is limited data on how patients with COVID-19 are left with long term fibrosis or scarring of the lung. Since the novel coronavirus has already infected more than 5 million people worldwide, Pure Health company in Boston believes it might have a solution by making changes to an older drug that has helped avoid scarring in different lung tissue. The problem with the older drugs is that patients can take nine pills a day and side effects include toxicity, nausea and diarrhea.

With these questions in mind, PureTech fiddled with pirfenidone’s hydrogen atoms through a process, which gives molecules a longer half-life and more durable effect. Penciclovir is an acyclic guanine analogue that is chemically similar to acyclovir. Penciclovir is monophosphorylated by TK and subsequently by cellular kinases into active penciclovir-triphosphate, which inhibits herpes DNA polymerase activity by serving as a competitive inhibitor of deoxyguanosine triphosphate. The resulting drug, LYT-100, should be more tolerable than pirfenidone, but still keep the original medicine’s benefits for fibrosis and inflammation.

The PureTech company plans to enroll 150 patients who have respiratory problems related to COVID-19 to test their theory. The patients will get either LYT-100 or a placebo and the company plan to measure whether the drug improves lung function after up to three months of treatment. Whether LYT-100 can perform the same way as pirfenidone has done is still up for debate. Pirfenidone is presently effective in slowing down the process of fibrosis, but there is no evidence to prevent scarring.

If at all possible, doctors can determine which patients with COVID-19 can lead to fibrosis. According to PureTech, LYT-100 could minimize the horrible effects of the disease on immune systems and lungs and it can be a useful medicine to deal with the medical aftermath of COVID-19.




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Engineered Bacteria used as Trojan Horse for Cancer Immunotherapy

Reporter: Irina Robu, PhD

Researchers are using synthetic biology— design and construction of new biological entities such as enzymes, genetic circuits, and cells or the redesign of existing biological systems—is changing medicine leading to innovative solution in molecular-based therapeutics. To address the issue of designing therapies that can induce a potent, anti-tumor immune response researchers at Columbia Engineering and Columbia Irving Medical Center engineered a strain of non-pathogenic bacteria that can colonize tumors in mice. The non-pathogenic bacteria act as Trojan Horse that can lead to complete tumor regression in a mouse model of lymphoma. Their results are currently published in Nature Medicine.

The scientists led by Nicholas Arpaia, used their expertise in synthetic biology and immunology to engineer a strain of bacteria able to grow and multiply in the necrotic core of tumors. The non-pathogenic E. coli are programmed to self-destruct when the bacteria numbers reach a critical threshold, allowing for actual release of therapeutics and averting them from causing havoc somewhere else in the body. Afterward, a small portion of bacteria survive lysis and repopulate the population which allows repeated rounds of drug delivery inside treated tumors.

In the present study, the scientists release a nanobody that targets CD47 protein, which defends cancer cells from being eaten by distinctive immune cells. The mutual effects of bacteria, induced local inflammation within the tumor and the blockage of the CD47 leads to better ingestion and activation of T-cells within the treated tumors. The team deduced that the treatment with their engineered bacteria not only cleared the treated tumors but also reduced the incidence of tumor metastasis.

Before moving to clinical trials, the team is performing proof-of-concept tests, safety and toxicology studies of their immunotherapeutic bacteria in a rand of advanced solid tumor settings in mouse models. They have currently collaborated with Gary Schwartz, deputy director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer and have underway a company to translate their promising technology to patients.


Sreyan Chowdhury, Samuel Castro, Courtney Coker, Taylor E. Hinchliffe, Nicholas Arpaia, Tal Danino. Programmable bacteria induce durable tumor regression and systemic antitumor immunity. Nature Medicine, 2019

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Nanoparticles Could Boost Effectiveness of Allergy Shots

Reporter : Irina Robu, PhD

Immunotherapy is a preventive treatment for allergic reactions to substances such as grass pollens, house dust mites and bee venom. The only existing therapy that treats their causes is allergen-specific immunotherapy or allergy shots which can cause severe side effects. For many people, allergies are a seasonal annoyance. But for others, exposure to a particular allergen can cause antagonistic reactions such as itching, breathing problems or even death. Allergy shots can diminish sensitivity by gradually ramping up exposure to the offending substance. Each allergy shot contains a tiny amount of the specific substance or substances that trigger your allergic reactions.

Holger Frey and colleagues report in Biomacromolecules the development of a potentially better allergy shot that uses nanocarriers to address these unwanted issues. In order to develop a safer, cause-based therapy scientist have developed nanoparticles that enclose an allergen and deliver it to specific cells. However, these nanocarriers degrade slowly, hindering the efficiency of the treatment.

Nanocarriers offer the following potential advantages: site-specific delivery of drugs, peptides, and genes, improved in-vitro and in-vivo stability and reduced side effect profile. However, nanoparticles are usually first picked up by the phagocytic cells of the immune system which may promote inflammatory disorders. In order to overcome the limitations, the researchers designed a novel type of nanocarrier created on the biocompatible molecule poly (ethylene glycol) that releases its cargo only in targeted immune cells.

This approach could be used not only for allergies but also can be used for other immunotherapies such as cancer and AIDS.



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Reducing the Burden of Tuberculosis Treatment

Reporter: Irina Robu, PhD

Tuberculosis is one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, which requires six-month course of daily antibiotics. To help overcome that, a team of researchers led by MIT has devised a new way to deliver antibiotics, which they hope will make it easier to cure more patients and reduce health care costs. In their approach a coiled wire loaded with antibiotics is inserted into the patient’s stomach through a nasogastric tube. Once in the stomach, the device slowly releases antibiotics over one month, eliminating the need for patients to take pills every day.

The device is a thin, elastic wire made of nitinol that can change its shape based on temperature. The researchers can string up to 600 “pills” of various antibiotics along the wire, and the drugs are packaged in polymers whose composition can be adjusted to control the rate of drug release once the device go in the stomach. The wire is distributed to the patient’s stomach via a tube inserted through the nose, which is used regularly in hospitals for delivering medications and nutrients. When the wire reaches the higher temperatures of the stomach, it forms a coil, which stops it from passing further through the digestive system. The researchers then tested the device in pigs and found that this device could release different antibiotics at a constant rate for 28 days. Once all of the drugs are delivered, the device is recovered through the nasogastric tube using a magnet that can attract the coil.

Giovanni Traverso and Robert Langer have been working on a variety of pills and capsules that can remain in the stomach and slowly release medication after being swallowed. This type of drug delivery, can expand treatment to several chronic diseases that require daily doses of medication. One capsule that shows promise appears to be for delivering small amounts of drugs to treat HIV and malaria. After being swallowed, the capsule’s outer coating disintegrates, allowing six arms to expand, helping the device to lodge in the stomach. This device can carry about 300 milligrams of drugs which is enough for a week’s worth of HIV treatment but it falls short of the payload of 3 grams of antibiotics every day needed to treat tuberculosis.

The researchers in addition to David Collins, an economist analyzed the potential economic impact of this type of treatment. He determined that if  the treatment is applied in India, costs could be reduced by about $8,000 per patient. I think that such an approach can be helpful for longer regimens required for the treatment of extensively drug-resistant TB and even hepatitis C and this approach can be an vital milestone toward addressing this problem.



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Walking DNA Nanorobot

Reporter: Irina Robu, PhD

New research from California Institute of Technology headed by Anupama Thubagere and Lulu Qian built robots from DNA and programmed them to sort and deliver molecules to a specified location. These robots can potentially transform the drug delivery field to how body fights infections to how microscopic measurements are made. The dominant premise of DNA robots is that rather than creating molecular devices from scratch, we can use the power of molecular machinery by building microscopic-size robots and send them to places that are then impossible to reach, such as a cell or a hard-to-reach cancerous tumor. These robots demonstrated the ability to perform simple tasks, however this latest effort ramped up a path by programming DNA robots to perform a cargo‐sorting task and possibly many other tasks.

Each robot was built from a single-stranded DNA molecule of just 53 nucleotides equipped with “legs” for walking and “arms” for picking up objects. The robot are 20 nanometers tall and their walking strides measures six nanometers long, where one nanometer is a billionth of a meter. For the cargo, the researchers used two types of molecules, each being a distinct single-stranded piece of DNA. For the tests, the researchers placed the cargo onto a random location along the surface of a two-dimensional origami DNA test platform. The walking DNA robots moved in parallel along this surface, hunting for their cargo.

To see if a robot successfully picked up and dropped off the right cargo at the right location, the researchers used two fluorescent dyes to differentiate the molecules.

The researchers guess that each DNA robot took around 300 steps to complete its task, or roughly ten times more than in previous efforts. Though, more work is needed to figure out how these DNA robots perform under different environmental conditions. This new study suggests a worthwhile methodology for scientists to continue pursuing.




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Targeting amyloidopathy

Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP



Targeting a rare amyloidotic disease through rationally designed polymer conjugates

Inmaculada Conejos–Sánchez, Isabel Cardoso, Maria J. Saraiva, María J.Vicent
Journal of Controlled Release 178 (2014), 95–100
Saraiva et al. discovered in 2006 a RAGE-based peptide sequence capable of preventing transthyretin (TTR) aggregate-induced cytotoxicity, hallmark of initial stages of an inherited rare amyloidosis known as Familial Amyloidotic Polyneuropathy (FAP). To allow clinical progression of this peptidic sequence as FAP treatment, a family of polymer conjugates has been designed, synthesised and fully characterised. This approach fulfills the strategies defined in the Polymer Therapeutics area as an exhaustive physico-chemical characterisation fitting activity output towards a novel molecular target that is described here. RAGE peptide acts extracellularly, therefore, nointracellular drug delivery was necessary. PEG was selected as carrier and polymer–drug linker optimisation was then carried out by means of biodegradable (disulphide) and non-biodegradable (amide) covalent bonds. Conjugate size in solution, stability under invitro and in vivo scenarios and TTR binding affinity through surface plasmon resonance (SPR) was also performed with all synthesised conjugates. In their in vitro evaluation by monitoring the activation of caspase-3 in Schwann cells, peptide derivatives demonstrated retention of peptide activity reducing TTR aggregates (TTRagg) cytotoxicity upon conjugation and a greater plasma stability than the parent free peptide. The results also confirmed that a more stable polymer–peptide linker (amide) is required to secure therapeutic efficiency.

Polymer therapeutics are well established as successful first generation nanomedicines for treatment of infectious diseases and cancer[1]. Polymer–protein, drug and aptamer conjugates are innovative chemical entities capable of improving bioactive compound properties and thus increasing efficacy and decreasing toxicity[2,3]. Design of second generation of conjugates is now focussing on improved polymer structures, polymer–based combination therapy and novel molecular targets with great potential to further progress the clinical importance of these unique technologies [4]. Novel conjugates for the treatment of neuropathological disorders are proposed in this study. Amyloidosis is well known in the form of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, but the target disease here is a rarer pathological disorder named familial amyloid polyneuropathy (FAP). FAPs constitute an important group of inherited amyloidosis diseases, and one of the most commonFAPs is caused by a mutated protein called transthyretin (TTR), which forms amyloid deposits, mainly in the peripheral nervous system [5]. The aggregation cascade of this mutated protein, produces a TTR aggregate (TTRagg) able to trigger neurodegeneration through engagement with the receptor-for-advanced-glycation-end-products (RAGE) which is present on peripheral neurons. RAGE signalling has been defined to be involved in many human pathologies such as Alzhehimer’s disease, diabetes and ageing, among others. This receptor is also up-regulated in tissues fromFAP patients [6]. The secreted RAGE form, named soluble RAGE (sRAGE), acts as a decoy to trap ligands and prevent interaction with cell surface receptors. sRAGE was shown to have important inhibitory effects in several cell cultures and transgenic mouse models, in which it prevented or reversed full-length RAGE signalling.

Saraiva et al. [7] discovered a specific peptidic sequence (named RAGE peptide) that is able to suppress TTRagg-induced cytotoxicity in cell culture. A reduced version of that peptide was proved to maintain the activity and the affinity of the initial peptide. The final peptide (compound A) contains 6 amino acids and responds to the sequence (from N to C terminus): YVRVRY. Although this provides an opportunity to design novel therapeutics for FAP treatment, peptide therapeutics themselves display well known challenges for in vivo use, e.g. low stability, poor pharmacokinetics and potential immunogenicity. Moreover the RAGE peptide demonstrates low solubility in plasma limiting its potential for i.v.administration.


Herein, novel specific nanoconjugates for the treatment of amyloidosis, and in particular familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy are reported. Apart from the research reported by Prof Arima et al. [22] using a hepatocyte-targeted FAP siRNA complex with lactosylated dendrimer (G3)/α-cyclodextrin(Lac-α-CDE(G3)), no other type of polymer therapeutic has been reported up to now for the treatment of this chronic degenerative family of diseases. Our rational design started from an active biomolecule of peptidic nature (RAGE peptide) that recognises the TTR prefibrillar aggregates responsible to promote cell death in FAPpatients [7]. The clinical progress of this promising inhibitor was masked by the well-known limitations of peptides, such as low solubility, low stability and possible immunogenicity. PEGylation through various linking strategies was successfully accomplished here as a solution for the named drawbacks, using a systematic approach to maintain peptide activity and receptor binding specificity. The data relating toTTR binding affinity, conjugate linker stability and the conjugate size distribution in solution of PEG– RAGE peptide conjugates indicate that the conjugates containing amide linkers have the greatest potential for further development as FAP inhibitors. Moreover, this novel conjugate has promising possibilities as a FAP therapeutic to be used alone in the early stages of the disease or as part of rationally designed combination therapy [23,24]. Preliminary in vivo studies (biodistribution) are shown in the supporting information demonstrating the enhanced plasma stability of the peptide upon conjugation (Fig.5S) , showing nospecific accumulation in any organ and renal excretion. More exhaustive in vivo experiments are currently ongoing with selected conjugates.


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Medical Applications of Nano Magnetite

Author: Danut Dragoi, PhD

Nano magnetite refers to small crystals of Fe3O4 in nano-metric range that preserves some specific magnetic properties of the magnetite bulk crystal such as the magnetism at saturation, Curie temperature, coercive magnetic force, hysteresis loop, etc. A discussion of medical applications of nano-magnetic particles is shown in here.

Opportunities for magnetite nanoparticles to be effectively incorporated into environmental contaminant removal and cell separation ([1] Honda et al., 1998;[2] Ebner et al.,1999; [3] Rikers et al., 1998; [4] Navratil, 2003), magnetically guided-drug delivery (Roger et al., 1999), magnetocytolysis ([5] Roger et al., 1999), sealing agents (liquid O-rings) ([6] Enzel et al., 1999), dampening and cooling mechanisms in loudspeakers ([6] Enzel et al., 1999), and contrasting agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) ([7] Schütt, 2004). Advancement of synthesis and stabilization procedures towards production of uniformly sized, dispersed (potentially embedded) magnetite nanoparticles has clearly inspired creative imagination and application in various fields. The following subsections address two topics, magnetic guided drug delivery and magnetic resonance tomography which  helps us  better understanding the capabilities offered by magnetite nanoparticles.

Magnetically Guided Drug Delivery

Ferrofluids containing encapsulated (with biologically compatible surface chemistries) magnetite nanoparticles, as described above, can be employed for drug delivery to specific locations. Exploitation of superparamagnetic magnetization of magnetite nanoparticles allows for “magnetic dragging” of internal (present in bloodstream or elsewhere) magnetite nanoparticles carrying DNA, enzymes, drugs to target-areas. Similarly, biological effectors, which are proteins (containing DNA specific to target cells) incorporated into encapsulated nanoparticle surface functionality, allow for target cell specificity. Once biological effector carrying magnetic nanoparticles bind to target-cells, the applied magnetic field is fluctuated (approximately 1 MHz) causing magnetocytolysis, or cell destruction, which eliminates target-cells. Similarly, after being dragged to target areas, magnetocytolysis of encapsulated nanoparticles can release drugs. Research towards these ends is currently being heavily investigated as potential for novel drug/cancer treatment abounds. ([5] Roger et al., 1999). Picture below shows schematically drug-loaded magnetic nanoparticles targeting for tumor therapy in which the magnetic nanoparticles are noninvasively moved toward the target.

Drug loaded NanoParicles

Image SOURCE:https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=oX32CwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA425&ots=1EDRtu7mDx&sig=fYjckTZEyXCkOBb4sjRAuWSR_U4#v=onepage&q&f=false

Magnetic Resonance Tomography

Magnetic Resonance Tomography (MRT) permits noninvasive visualization of cross-sectional images of the human body, tissues, and organs ([7] Schütt, 2004). The MRT technique provides better tissue resolution than traditional radiation based technologies; with addition of contrasting agents, this resolution can be further enhanced ([8] Shao et al., 2005). Magnetite nanoparticles (in ferrofluid form) are powerful contrasting agents due to their paramagnetic magnetization. Ferrofluid physico-morphosis under magnetic field Blaney 65 Human bloodstreams readily reject the nanoparticle colloidal solution, which quickly passes into the liver ([8] Shao et al., 2005). Consequently, ferrofluids have thus far only been useful in distinguishing between healthy and malignant liver cells. This limitation can be overcome through functionalization of magnetite nanoparticles with various ligands that allows for organ-specific transport; therefore, MRT imaging of various bodily organs can be possible. Furthermore, polymeric (i.e., polyethylene oxide – PEO) coating of functionalized magnetite particles permits ferrofluids longer bloodstream retention. ([7] Schütt, 2004) PEO coatings are applied through magnetite interaction with copolymer PEO-polypeptide; polypeptides interact with the positively charged magnetite surface and provide nanoparticle masking to allow longer bloodstream residence. These coated magnetite nanoparticles could also be employed as extremely efficient capsules for drug delivery systems, which are discussed by ([7] Schütt, 2004).


[1] Honda H, Kawabe A, Shinkai M, and Kobayashi T (1998). Development of chitosan-conjugated magnetite for magnetic cell separation. Journal of Fermentation and Bioengineering 86, 191-196

[2] Ebner AD, Ritter JA, Ploehn HJ, Kochen RL, and Navratil JD (1999). New magnetic field-enhanced process for the treatment of aqueous wastes. Separation Science and Technology 34, 1277-1300

[3] Rikers RA, Voncken JHL, and Dalmijn WL (1998). Cr-polluted soil studied by high gradient magnetic separation and electron probe. Journal of Environmental Engineering 124, 1159-1164

[4] Navratil JD (2003). Adsorption and nanoscale magnetic separation of heavy metals from water. U.S. EPA workshop on managing arsenic risks to the environment: characterization of waste, chemistry, and treatment and disposal. Denver, CO

[5] Roger J, Pons JN, Massart R, Halbreich A, and Bacri JC (1999). Some biomedical applications of ferro fluids. Eur. Phys. J. AP 5, 321-325

[6] Enzel P, Adelman N, Beckman KJ, Campbell DJ, Ellis AB, Lisensky GC (1999). Preparation of an aqueous-based ferrofluid. J. Chem. Educ. 76, 943-948

[7] Schütt D (2004). Magnetite colloids for drug delivery and magnetic resonance imaging. Institute Angewandte Polymerforschung: thesis Selim MS, Cunningham LP, Srivastava R, Olson JM (1997). Preparation of nano-size magnetic gamma ferric oxide (γ-Fe2O3) and magnetite (Fe3O4) particles for toner and color imaging applications. Recent Progress in Toner Technologies, 108- 111

[8] Shao H, Lee H, Huang Y, Kwak BK, and Kim CO (2005). Synthesis of nano-size magnetite coated with chitosan for MRI contrast agent by sonochemistry. Magnetics Conference, 2005. INTERMAG Asia 2005. Digests of the IEEE International, 461-462



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Novel Macromolecular IV to Oral Delivery Conversion Pathway: Anti-thrombolytic post-surgical – Catalent OptiGel Bio™ Technology

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Case Study

OptiGel BioTechnology Enables IV to Oral Therapy Conversion

Executive Summary

An early-stage biotechnology company had developed a novel macromolecular intravenous (IV) therapy for an anti-thrombolytic post-surgical indication. While the therapy had shown complete absorption via IV, the dose form was not ideal due to a number of factors including manufacturing costs, compliance, and ease of use, as well as as well as the long term treatment requirements. This case study demonstrates how Catalent OptiGel Bio™ technology can provide a pathway for an IV to oral delivery conversion, resulting in enhanced therapies for patients.

The Challenges

Though soluble, the macromolecule presented a number of permeability challenges, which hindered delivery of an active therapeutic dose across the lumen of the small intestine to achieve the desired therapeutic effect.

*Salamat-Miller N et al. , Pharmaceutical Research, 2005, 22(2):245-254

By incorporating OptiGel Bio™ technology and our formulation expertise, an optimized oral therapy was developed combining permeation enhancement and targeted delivery.

physiochemical properties High molecular weight (>2500 Da)Strong negative charge*

Rigid, inflexible geometry*

targeted delivery Functional API must be delivered to the small intestine in order to achieve bioavailability
permeability Mucus layer physical barrierRandom and limited transcellular pathways

“Fence and gate” function of tight junctions

pharmacokinetic profile Oral delivery must reach exposure within therapeutic range

The Catalent Solution

enhanced permeability The first challenge to overcome in development was enhancing the permeability of the macromolecule. A stepwise screening approach utilizing both in vitro and in vivo models yielded lead formulation candidates for further evaluation.

The Catalent Solution


enhanced permeability The first challenge to overcome in development was enhancing the permeability of the macromolecule. A stepwise screening approach utilizing both in vitro and in vivo models yielded lead formulation candidates for further evaluation.


Using OptiGel Bio™ technology, we overcame the challenges traditionally associated with the oral delivery of macromolecules and enabled conversion from an IV to a more efficient, more convenient and less invasive oral dose form while maintaining an effective pK profile. Through a multi-step drug delivery screening process and our OptiGel Bio™ technology, we can enable enhanced therapies—resulting in better treatments and more value for innovators, healthcare professionals and patients.



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Biomaterials Technology: Models of Tissue Engineering for Reperfusion and Implantable Devices for Revascularization

Author and Curator: Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP


Curator: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN


This is the THIRD of a three part series on the evolution of vascular biology and the studies of the effects of biomaterials
in vascular reconstruction and on drug delivery, which has embraced a collaboration of cardiologists at Harvard Medical School , Affiliated Hospitals, and MIT,
requiring cardiovascular scientists at the PhD and MD level, physicists, and computational biologists working in concert, and
an exploration of the depth of the contributions by a distinguished physician, scientist, and thinker.

The FIRST part – Vascular Biology and Disease – covered the advances in the research on

Drug Eluting Stents: On MIT’s Edelman Lab’s Contributions to Vascular Biology and its Pioneering Research on DES

  • vascular biology,
  • signaling pathways,
  • drug diffusion across the endothelium and
  • the interactions with the underlying muscularis (media),
  • with additional considerations for type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The SECOND part – Stents and Drug Delivery – covered the

Vascular Repair: Stents and Biologically Active Implants

  • purposes,
  • properties and
  • evolution of stent technology with
  • the acquired knowledge of the pharmacodynamics of drug interactions and drug distribution.

In this THIRD part, on Problems and Promise of Biomaterials Technology, we cover the biomaterials used and the design of the cardiovascular devices, extension of uses, and opportunities for improvement

Biomaterials Technology: Tissue Engineering and Vascular Models –

Problems and Promise

We have thus far elaborated on developments in the last 15 years that have led to significant improvements in cardiovascular health.

First, there has been development of smaller sized catheters that can be introduced into

  • not only coronary arteries, but into the carotid and peripheral vasculature;

Second, there has been specific design of coated-stents that can be placed into an artery

  • for delivery of a therapeutic drug.

This began with a focus on restenosis, a serious problem after vascular repair, beginning
with the difficult problem of  control of heparin activity given intravenously, and was
extended to modifying the heparan-sulfate molecular structure

  • to diminish vascular endothelial hyperplasia,
  • concurrent with restriction of the anticoagulant activity.

Third, the ability to place stents with medicated biomaterials locally has extended to

  • the realm of chemotherapy, and we shall see where this progresses.

The Engineered Arterial Blood Flow Models

Biomedical engineers, in collaboration with physicians, biologists, chemists, physicists, and
mathematicians, have developed models to predict vascular repair by knowledge of

  • the impact of interventions on blood flow.

These models have become increasingly sophisticated and precise, and they propel us
toward optimization of cardiovascular therapeutics in general and personalizing treatments
for patients with cardiovascular disease. (1)
The science of vascular biology has been primarily stimulated by the clinical imperative to

  • combat complications that ensue from vascular interventions.

Thus, when a novel vascular biological finding or cardiovascular medical/surgical technique
is presented, we are required to ask the 2-fold question:

  • what have we learned about the biology of the blood vessel?
  • how might this knowledge be used to enhance clinical perspective and treatment?

The innovative method of engineering arterial conduits presented by Campbell et al. in
Circulation Research presents us with just such a challenge, and we deal with it’s biological and clinical ramifications.

Each of four pivotal studies in vascular tissue engineering has been an important advance
in the progression to a tissue-engineered blood vessel that can serve as a

  • living graft, responsive to the biological environment as
  • a self-renewing tissue with an inherent healing potential.
  • Weinberg and Bell taught us that a tissue-engineered graft could be constructed
  • and could be composed of human cells.

L’heureux et al demonstrated that the mechanical strength of such a material

  • derived in major part from the extracellular matrix and
  • production of matrix and integrity of cellular sheets
  • could be enhanced by alterations in culture conditions.

Niklason et al. noted that grafts are optimally formed

  • when incubated within environmental conditions that they will confront in vivo
  • or would have experienced if formed naturally.

Campbell et al. now demonstrate that it is possible to remove

  • the immune reaction and acute rejection that may follow cell-based grafting
  • by culturing tissues in the anticipated host and
  • address a fundamental issue of whether cell source or site of cell placement
  • dictates function after cell implantation.

It appears that the vascular matrix can be remodeled by the body according to the needs of the environment. It may
very well be that the ultimate configuration of autologous cell-based vascular graft need not be determined at
outset by the cells that comprise the device, but rather

  • by a dynamics that is established by environmental needs, wherein the body molds
  • tissue-engineered constructs to meet
    • local flow,
    • metabolic, and
    • inflammatory requirements.

In other words, cell source for tissue reconstruction may be secondary to
cell pliability to environmental influence.

Endothelial and smooth muscle cells from many, perhaps any,

  • vascular bed can be used to create new grafts and will then
  • achieve secondary function once in place in the artery.

The environmental remodeling observed after implantation

  • may modify limitations of grafts that are composed of nonvascular peritoneal cells whose initial structure
    is not either venous or arterial. (2)
  • The trilaminate vascular architecture provides biochemical regulation and mechanical integrity.
  • Yet regulatory control can be regained after injury without recapitulating tertiary structure.

Tissue-engineered (TE) endothelium controls repair even when

  • placed in the perivascular space of injured vessels.

It remains unclear from vascular repair studies whether endothelial implants recapitulate the vascular
epithelial lining
or expose injured tissues to endothelial cells (ECs) with unique healing potential because

  • ECs line the vascular epithelium and the vasa vasorum.

Authors examined this issue in a nonvascular tubular system, asking whether airway repair is controlled by

  • bronchial epithelial cells (EPs) or by
  • Endothelial Cells (ECs) of the perfusing bronchial vasculature.

Localized bronchial denuding injury

  • damaged epithelium, narrowed bronchial lumen, and led to
  • mesenchymal cell hyperplasia, hypervascularity, and inflammatory
  • cell infiltration. Peribronchial TE constructs embedded with

EPs or ECs limited airway injury, although optimum repair was obtained

  • when both cells were present in TE matrices.

EC and EP expression of

  • PGE2, TGF1, TGF2, GM-CSF, IL-8, MCP-1, and soluble VCAM-1
  • and ICAM-1 was altered by matrix embedding,

but expression was altered most significantly when both,

  • EC and EP,  cells were present simultaneously.

EPs may provide for functional control of organ injury and fibrous response, and

ECs may provide for preservation of tissue perfusion and the epithelium in particular.

Together the two cells

  • optimize functional restoration and healing, suggesting that
  • multiple cells of a tissue contribute to the differentiated biochemical function and repair
    of a tissue, but 
    need not assume
  • a fixed, ordered architectural relationship, as in intact tissues, to achieve these effects. (3)

Matrix-embedded Endothelial Cells (MEECs) Implants

The implantation of matrix-embedded endothelial cells (MEECs)

  • is considered to have therapeutic potential in controlling the vascular response to injury and
  • maintaining patency in arteriovenous anastomoses.

Authors considered the 3-dimensional microarchitecture of the tissue engineering scaffold to be
a key regulator of endothelial behavior in MEEC constructs.

Notably, Authors found that

  • ECs in porous collagen scaffold had a markedly altered cytoskeletal structure with oriented actin
    and rearranged focal adhesion proteins, in comparison to cells grown on 2D surfaces.

Examining the immunomodulatory capabilities of MEECs revealed, MEECs were able to reduce the recruitment
of monocytes
to an inflamed endothelial monolayer by 5-fold compared to EC on 2D surfaces.

An analysis of secreted factors from the cells revealed

  • an 8-fold lower release of Monocyte Chemotactic Protein-1 (MCP-1) from MEECs.

Differences between 3D and 2D cultured cells were abolished in the presence of

  • inhibitors to the focal adhesion associated signaling molecule Src, suggesting that
  • adhesion-mediated signaling is essential in controlling the potent immunomodulatory
    effects of MEEC. (4)

Cardiogenesis is regulated by a complex interplay between transcription factors. How do these interactions
regulate the transition from mesodermal precursors to cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs)?

Yin Yang 1 (YY1), a member of the GLI-Kruppel

  • family of DNA-binding zinc finger transcription factor (TF), can
  • activate or inhibit transcription in a context-dependent manner.

Bioinformatic-based Transcription Factor Genome-wide Sequencing Analysis

These investigators performed a bioinformatic-based transcription factor genome-wide sequencing analysis

  • binding  site analysis on upstream promoter regions of genes that are enriched in embryonic stem cell–derived CPCs
  • to identify novel regulators of mesodermal cardiac lineage

From 32 candidate transcription factors screened, they found that

  • Yin Yang 1 (YY1), a repressor of sarcomeric gene expression, is present in CPCs.

They uncovered the ability of YY1 to transcriptionally activate Nkx2.5,

  • Nkx2.5 as a key marker of early cardiogenic commitment.
  • YY1 regulates Nkx2.5 expression via a 2.1-kb cardiac-specific enhancer as demonstrated by in vitro
  1. luciferase-based assays,
  2. in vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation,
  3. and genome-wide sequencing analysis.

Furthermore, the ability of YY1 to activate Nkx2.5 expression depends on its cooperative interaction with Gata4.

Cardiac mesoderm–specific loss-of-function of YY1 resulted in early embryonic lethality.

This was corroborated in vitro by embryonic stem cell–based assays which showed the

  • overexpression of YY1 enhanced the cardiogenic differentiation of embryonic stem cells into CPCs.

The results indicate an essential and unexpected role for YY1

  • to promote cardiogenesis as a transcriptional activator of Nkx2.5
  • and other CPC-enriched genes. (5)

Proportional Hazards Models to Analyze First-onset of Major
Cardiovascular Disease Events

Various measures of arterial stiffness and wave reflection are considered to be cardiovascular risk markers.

Prior studies have not assessed relations of a comprehensive panel of stiffness measures to prognosis

Authors used Proportional Hazards Models to analyze first-onset of major cardiovascular disease events 

  • myocardial infarction,
  • unstable angina,
  • heart failure, or
  • stroke

In relation to arterial stiffness measured by

  • pulse wave velocity [PWV]
  • wave reflection
  • augmentation index [AI]
  • carotid-brachial pressure amplification [PPA]
  • and central pulse pressure [CPP]

in 2232 participants (mean age, 63 years; 58% women) in the Framingham Heart Study.

During median follow-up of 7.8 (range, 0.2 to 8.9) years,

  • 151 of 2232 participants (6.8%) experienced an event.

In multivariable models adjusted for

  • age,
  • sex,
  • systolic blood pressure,
  • use of antihypertensive therapy,
  • total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations,
  • smoking, and
  • presence of diabetes mellitus,

Higher aortic PWV was associated with a 48% increase in

  • cardiovascular disease risk
    (95% confidence interval, 1.16 to 1.91 per SD; P0.002).

After PWV was added to a standard risk factor model,

  • integrated discrimination improvement was 0.7%
    (95% confidence interval, 0.05% to 1.3%; P < 0.05).

In contrast, AI, CPP, and PPA were not related to

  • cardiovascular disease outcomes in multivariable models.

(1) Higher aortic stiffness assessed by PWV is associated with

  • increased risk for a first cardiovascular event.

(2) Aortic PWV improves risk prediction when added to standard risk factors

  • and may represent a valuable biomarker of CVD risk in the community. (6)

1. Engineered arterial models to correlate blood flow to tissue biological response. J Martorell, P Santoma, JJ Molins,
AA Garcıa-Granada, JA Bea, et al.  Ann NY Acad Sci 2012: 1254:51–56. (Issue: Evolving Challenges in Promoting
Cardiovascular Health)    http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06518.x

2.  Vascular Tissue Engineering. Designer Arteries. Elazer R. Edelman. Circ Res. 1999; 85:1115-1117
http://www.circresaha.org  http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/01.RES.85.12

3.  Tissue-engineered endothelial and epithelial implants differentially and synergistically regulate airway repair.
BG Zani, K Kojima, CA Vacanti, and ER Edelman.   PNAS 13, 2008; 105(19):7046–7051.

4.  The role of scaffold microarchitecture in engineering endothelial cell immunomodulation.
L Indolfi, AB Baker, ER Edelman. Biomaterials 2012; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.06.052

5.  Essential and Unexpected Role of Yin Yang 1 to Promote Mesodermal Cardiac Differentiation. S Gregoire, R Karra,
D Passer, Marcus-André Deutsch, et al.  Circ Res. 2013;112:900-910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.113.259259

6.  Arterial Stiffness and Cardiovascular Events. The Framingham Heart Study.
GF Mitchell, Shih-Jen Hwang, RS Vasan, MG Larson, et al.  Circulation. 2010;121:505-511.

Cardiology Diagnosis of ACS and Stents – 2012

The Year in Cardiology 2012: Acute Coronary Syndromes.

Nick E.J. West      http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/779039

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) produced updated guidance on management of STEMI in 2012.
It also produced a third version of the Universal Definition of Myocardial Infarction.
The importance of early diagnosis is stressed, with first ECG in patients

  • with suspected STEMI recommended within 10 min of first medical contact (FMC)
  • and primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) for STEMI
  • ideally within 90 min (rated ‘acceptable’ out to a maximum of 120 min).

The guidance highlights the importance of collaborative networks

  • to facilitate achievement of such targets.
  • the importance of prompt assessment
  • management of atypical presentations not always considered under the umbrella of STEMI, including
    • left bundle branch block (LBBB),
    • paced rhythms, and
    • isolated ST-segment elevation in lead aVR,

especially when accompanied by symptoms consistent with myocardial ischaemia.

Therapeutic hypothermia is now recommended for

  • all resuscitated patients with STEMI complicated by cardiac arrest
  •  immediate coronary angiography with a view to follow-on PPCI
  • when the ECG demonstrates persistent ST-segment elevation.

In the light of recently published studies and meta-analyses,

  • including that of Kalesan et al., drug-eluting stents (DES) are
  • now routinely preferred to bare metal stents (BMS) in view of
  • the reduced need for repeat revascularization and the lack of
  • previously perceived hazard for stent thrombosis.

The more potent antiplatelet agents prasugrel and ticagrelor are also preferred

  • to clopidogrel for all STEMI cases, with duration of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT)
  • ideally for 1 year, but reduced to a strict
  • minimum of 6 months for patients receiving DES.

The Third Universal Definition of Myocardial Infarction was published
simultaneously with the STEMI guidance. This guideline endorses

  • cardiac troponin as the biomarker of choice to detect myocardial necrosis
  • with spontaneously occurring myocardial infarction (MI) defined as an
  • elevation above the 99th percentile upper reference value for the assay.

There is further development and clarification of MI in different settings

  • to allow standardization across trials and registries

in particular after revascularization procedures: after CABG with normal baseline troponin

  • MI is defined as a rise to a value 10 times greater than baseline in the first 48 h, and
  • a rise to 5 times greater than 99th percentile upper reference after PCI

in patients with a normal baseline level (or a 20% rise when troponin is elevated and stable or falling pre-procedure).

ACCF/AHA  updated guidance on the management of unstable angina/non-STEMI:

angiography with a view to revascularization

  • is now recommended within 12–24 h of presentation, with
  • DAPT pre-loading prior to PCI procedures also now advocated.

Ticagrelor and prasugrel are cited as acceptable alternatives to clopidogrel.
The maintenance dose of aspirin recommended for the majority of cases is 81 mg daily.
This guideline brings about transatlantic agreement in most areas.

Risk Stratification

Identification and appropriate triage of patients presenting to emergency departments
with acute chest pain remains a difficult dilemma:

  • many are low-risk and have a non-cardiac origin
  • a significant minority with coronary artery disease may not be picked up
    on clinical grounds even when accompanied by appropriate tests,

    • including ECG and biomarker estimation used in conjunction
    • with a clinical risk score (e.g. GRACE, TIMI).

As endorsed in ESC guidance, there has been increasing interest in

  • non-typical ECG patterns for the diagnosis of STEMI; although LBBB is
  • an accepted surrogate

Widimsky et al.  retrospectively analysed 6742 patients admitted to hospital with acute MI

  • in patients presenting with right bundle branch block, a blocked epicardial vessel was
  • more common (51.7 vs. 39.4%; P < 0.001) and incidence of both shock and mortality
  • comparable with LBBB (14.3 vs. 13.1%; P = NS; and 15.8 vs. 15.4%; P = NS, respectively).

Wong et al. demonstrated the importance of ST-elevation in lead aVR,

  • often viewed as indicative of left main stem occlusion, having increased mortality
  • in patients presenting with both inferior and anterior infarction.

Perhaps the most important data regarding the ECG in 2012 were also the most simple:

  • Antoni et al. highlighted a powerful and very simple method of risk stratification;
  •  heart rate measured on a 12-lead ECG at discharge after Primary PCI (PPCI) is an
  • independent predictor of mortality at 1 and 4 years of follow-up.

Patients with a discharge heart rate of ≥70 b.p.m. had a two-fold higher mortality at both follow-up
time points, with every increase of 5 b.p.m. in heart rate

  • equating to a 29% increase in mortality at 1 year and 24% at 5 years.

These findings have important implications for the optimization of patient therapies after MI (including the use of
rate-limiting agents such as beta-blockers, calcium channel-blockers, and ivabradine), although large randomized
trials are needed to confirm that

  • interventions to reduce heart rate will replicate the benefits observed in this study.


Figure 1.  Kaplan–Meier time-to-event plots for heart rate at discharge divided by quartiles and all-cause mortality
(A and C) and cardiovascular mortality (B and D) at 1-year (A and B) and 4-year (C and D) follow-up,
demonstrating relationship between discharge heart rate and mortality after PPCI for STEMI.
Modified from Antoni et al.

Coronary Intervention and Cardioprotection in Acute Coronary Syndromes

Microvascular obstruction during PCI for ACS/STEMI is associated with increased infarct size and adverse prognosis;
its pathophysiology is thought to be a combination of

  • mechanical distal embolization of thrombus and plaque constituents during PCI,  coupled with
  • enhanced constriction/hyperreactivity of the distal vascular bed.

The most novel Strategy to Reduce Infarct Size

is the use of a Bare Metal Stent (BMS) covered on its outer surface with a mesh micronet designed to
trap and hold potentially friable material that might embolize distally at the time of PCI.

The MASTER study randomized 433 STEMI patients to PPCI

  • with conventional BMS or DES at the operator’s discretion vs.
  • the novel MGuard stent (InspireMD, Tel Aviv, Israel);

the primary endpoint of complete ST-segment resolution was better

  • in patients receiving MGuard (57.85 vs. 44.7%; P = 0.008), as was
  • the achievement of TIMI grade 3 flow in the treated vessel (91.7 vs. 82.9%; P = 0.006).

Nevertheless, median ST-segment resolution did not differ

  • between treatment groups,
  • myocardial blush grade was no different, and
  • safety outcomes at 30 days (death, adverse events) as well as
  • overall MRI-determined infarct mass.

Higher TVR rates may accrue with a BMS platform when compared with

  • current-generation DES (as now endorsed for PPCI in ESC guidance).

In comparing the four studies in cardioprotection, there remains little to choose between strategies as evidenced by

  • the relatively minor differences between surrogate endpoints employed regardless of
  • therapeutic intervention chosen (Figure 2).


Figure 2.  Comparison of study endpoints for reduction in infarct size in STEMI.
Study endpoints listed on the x-axis. STR, ST-segment resolution; TIMI 3, thrombolysis in
myocardial infarction grade 3 antegrade flow; myocardial blush grade 2/3 (MBG 2/3).

Recent advances in

  • PCI equipment,
  • peri-procedural pharmacology,
  • technique, and safety, as well as
  • convergence of national guidance,

are leading to the point where

  • even in the highest risk patients such as those presenting with ACS, small improvements
  • may be difficult to discern despite large well-designed and -conducted studies.


  1. a. The Task Force on the management of ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction
    of the European Society of Cardiology. ESC guidelines for the management of acute
    myocardial infarction in patients presenting with ST-segment elevation. Eur Heart J
    2012;33:2569–2619.  b. Management of acute myocardial infarction in patients presenting
    with ST-segment elevation. The Task Force on the Management of Acute Myocardial
    Infarction of the European Society of Cardiology.  Eur Heart J 2003; 24 (1): 28-66.
  2. ESC Guidelines for the management of acute coronary syndromes in patients presenting
    without persistent ST-segment elevation: The Task Force for the management of acute
    coronary syndromes (ACS) in patients presenting without persistent ST-segment elevation
    of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).  http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehr236
  3. Thygesen K, Alpert JS, Jaffe AS, Simoons ML, Chaitman BS, White HD. The Writing Group on
    behalf of the Joint ESC/ACCF/AHA/WHF Task Force for the Universal Definition of
    Myocardial Infarction. Third universal definition of myocardial infarction.
    Eur Heart J 2012;33:2551–2567.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehm355
  4. Kalesan B, Pilgrim T, Heinimann K, Raber L, Stefanini GG, et al. Comparison of drug-eluting
    stents with bare metal stents in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction.
    Eur Heart 2012;33:977–987.
  5. Jneid H, Anderson JL, Wright RS, Adams CS, et al. 2012 ACCF/AHA Focused Update of the
    Guideline for the Management of Patients with Unstable Angina/Non-ST-Elevation Myocardial
    Infraction (Updating the 2007 Guideline and Replacing the 2011 Focused Update). A Report
    of the American College of CardiologyFoundation/American Heart Association Task Force
    on Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol 2012;60:645–681.
  6. Widimsky P, Rohác F, Stásek J, Kala P, Rokyta R, et al. Primary angioplasty in acute myocardial
    infarction with right bundle branch block: should new onset right bundle branch block be added
    to future guidelines as an indication for reperfusion therapy? Eur HeartJ 2012;33:86–95.
  7. Wong CK, Gao W, Stewart RA, French JK, and the HERO-2 Investigators. The prognostic meaning of
    the full spectrum of aVR ST-segment changes in acute myocardial infarction.
    Eur Heart J 2012;33:384–392.
  8. Antoni L, Boden H, Delgado V, Boersma E, et al. Relationship between discharge heart rate and mortality
    in patients after myocardial infarction treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention.
    Eur Heart J 2012;33:96–102.
  9. Stone GW, Abizaid A, Silber S, Dizon JM, Merkely B, et al. Prospective, randomised, multicenter evaluation
    of a polyethylene terephthalate micronet mesh-covered stent (MGuard) in ST-segment elevation myocardial
    infarction. The MASTER Trial. J Am Coll Cardiol. doi:pii:S0735-1097(12)04506-8. 10.1016/j.jacc.2012.09.004. 
  10. Zhou C, Yao Y, Zheng Z, Gong J, Wang W, Hu S, Li L. Stenting technique, gender, and age are associated with
    cardioprotection by ischaemic postconditioning in primary coronary intervention: a systematic review of
    10 randomized trials. Eur Heart J 2012;33:3070–3077.

Resistant Hypertension.

Robert M. Carey.
Hypertension. 2013;61:746-750.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.00601

Resistant hypertension is defined as failure to achieve goal blood pressure (BP) <140/90 mm Hg
(or <130/80 mm Hg in patients with diabetes mellitus or chronic kidney disease) in patients with

  • hypertension who are compliant with maximum tolerated doses of an appropriate antihypertensive drug regimen consisting of a minimum of 3 agents of different classes, including a diuretic.
  • Patients who meet the criteria for resistant hypertension but whose BP can be controlled on maximum tolerated
    doses of ≥4 antihypertensive agents are classified as having controlled resistant hypertension.

Although the number of failed antihypertensive drugs required for the classification of resistant hypertension is arbitrary,

  • this diagnosis identifies patients at high risk for having a potentially curable form of hypertension, and
  • those who may benefit from specific therapeutic approaches to lower BP.


The first portion of this document shows the impact that ER Edelman and his peers have had in the development
of interventional cardiology, and in carrying out studies to test, validate, or reject assumptions about the interaction of
biomaterials with

  • vascular and smooth muscle tissue in the repair of injured vessels, by
  1. trauma
  2. inflammatory injury
  3. stent placement.

In the second portion of this discussion, I introduce current views about complications in implanted devices, evolving
standards, and the current definitions of stable, unstable, and previously unclassified ACS risk.

Pushing Drug-Eluting Stents Into Uncharted Territory

Simpler Than You Think—More Complex Than You Imagine

Campbell Rogers, MD; Elazer R. Edelman, MD, PhD.  Circulation 2006; 113: 2262-2265.

Mechanical failure is a characteristic of a material or a device and not necessarily an indication of inadequacy. All devices
will fail under some specific stress. It is only failure at the lowest levels of stress that may represent inadequacy. Stress on
a material, for example, rises with strain until a critical load is exceeded, at which point the material fatigues and loses
mechanical integrity. Failure analysis, the science by which these conditions are rigorously defined, is an important
component of device design, development, and use. Once the transition point to failure is identified, material use can be
restricted to the zone of safety or modified so as to have this zone expanded. Just as the characterization of a material is
incomplete unless pushed to the limits of load bearing, characterization of an implantable device is incomplete unlesspreclinical and clinical environments test the limits of device functionality. It was in this light in 1999 that the Authors noted the impossibility of defining the functional limits of novel bare metal stents in head-to-head trials, which, by necessity, could only include lesions into which the predicate device (the Palmaz-Schatz stent, Cordis, Warren, NJ) could have be placed.

New School Percutaneous Interventions

Over the past 5 years, the number of percutaneous interventions has grown by 40%. This expansion derives from an
increased breadth of cases, as percutaneous interventions are now routinely performed in diabetic, small-vessel, multilesion,diffuse disease, and acute coronary syndrome settings. Contemporaneously, widespread adoption of drug-eluting stents has emboldened clinicians and provided greater security in the use of these devices in lesions or patients previously thought to

Head-to-head randomized trial data have accumulated so that analysis may demonstrate differences among drug-eluting stents. The playing field for prospective randomized trials could enhance the weight of evidence to unanswered questions about what underlying factors determine device failure.

Complexity Simplified

Drug-eluting stent “failure” can be defined operationally in the same way as material failure:

  • inadequate function in the setting of a given load or strain.

The inability to withstand stress may take many forms that can change over time. Failure may be manifest acutely as

  • the inability to deliver a stent to the desired location,
  • subacutely as stent thrombosis or
  • postprocedural myonecrosis, and later as
  • restenosis

“Simple lesions” are those in which few devices should fail;“Complex” lesions have a heightened risk of failure. To be of value, each scale of advancing complexity must provoke higher failure rates.  For any device may fail sooner than another along one such “complexity” scale and later along another. As advanced drug-eluting stent designs have enhanced deliverability and reduced restenosis rates, 7 randomized trials comparing directly the two Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug-eluting stents, Cypher (Cordis-Johnson and Johnson) and Taxus (Boston Scientific, Boston, Mass), have been reported.  These trials report a broad range of restenotic failure as evidenced by the need for revascularization. Across these trials, driven by a variety of factors, revascularization rates vary quite widely.

The clinical end point of target lesion revascularization (TLR) becomes

  • a single measure of device failure.

When the 7 trials are depicted in order of increasing TLR, the rate of failure increases more slowly with 1 device than
the other.  This gives two regression plots for Taxus vs Cypher with different slopes, as complexity increases, and the

  • separation between the failure rates of the two devices broadens plotted against “degree of complexity” assigned by the  slopes of the lines.

Finally, the correlation between TLR rates for Taxus and Cypher stents indicates that trial-specific events and conditions determined TLR (with a sharp slope of Taxus vs Cypher (r-sq = 0.85).  The ratio of TLR (the slope) wasgreater than 3, suggesting that although both devices are subject to increasing failure as complexity increases,

  • one device becomes ever-more likely than the other to fail when applied in settings with ever-higher TLR risk.

In other words, composite medical devices with a wide range of

  • structural,
  • geometric, and
  • pharmacological differences
    • can be shown to produce different clinical effects
    • as the environments in which they are tested become increasingly complex.

What the Individual Trials Cannot Tell Us

The progressive difference between the performances of the 2 FDA-approved drug-eluting stents as they are pushed into
more complex settings is precisely what one would anticipate from medical devices with different performance signatures.
Most randomized trials, even if they include high complexity, are unable to identify predictors of failure because of the low numbers of patients enrolled, and the problem gets worse as the number of subsets increase. Consequently, device development, and clinical practice, knowing which patient or lesion characteristics confer higher failure rates is critical.
This analysis has centered on restenosis. Other failure modes to be considered are

  • stent thrombosis,
  • postprocedural myonecrosis
  • late plaque rupture
  • vascular disease away from the site
  • heightened inflammatory reaction
    • are no less critical and may be determined by
    • completely different device or patient characteristics.

Well-executed registry or pooled data

It is in this light that the registry report of Kastrati et al. in the current issue of Circulation is of greatest value. There are
two ways in which well-executed registry or pooled data can be most complementary to randomized trials.

First, large numbers of patients provide a higher incidence of rare failure modes as well as allow more granular determination of lesion- or patient-specific predictors of failure (meta-analysis or better, combined data file). A pooled analysis of several head-to-head randomized bare metal stent trials allowed identification of clear risk factors for stent thrombosis that had eluded analysis of the individual (smaller) trials.

Second, registry or pooled data may incorporate a broader range of patient characteristics, allowing greater discrimination between devices. The report of Kastrati et al may fall into this category as well, as it includes “high risk” populations from several randomized trials. They report on more than 2000 lesions in 1845 patients treated with either Taxus or Cypher drug-eluting stents at two hospitals.  The study population is from a series of randomized trials comparing Taxus and Cypher stents.   Using multivariate analysis to identify what lesion and patient characteristics predict failure (restenosis), they identified risk factors that included

  • prior history of coronary bypass surgery
  • calcification
  • smaller vessel size
  • greater degree of prestent and poststent stenosis.

Use of a Cypher rather than Taxus stent was independently associated with lower restenosis risk.

An interesting negative finding was the absence of diabetes as a significant predictor, at odds with strong suggestions from several other analyses. A better understanding from preclinical or clinical studies of the effect of diabetic states on restenosis is critical.

Author’s opinion voiced:

This Author (LHB), considers the study underpowered to answer that question because of further partitioning with several variables. Pooled data with

  • rigorous ascertainment and
  • careful statistical methodology, taken
  • together with randomized trial data, open a door to device choice based on the knowledge that risk of failure (complexity) does vary, and
  • the higher the complexity, the greater the incremental benefit of choosing one device over another.

A decision algorithm is therefore possible, whereby multiple failure modes and risk factors are weighed, and

  • an optimum stent choice made which balances
  • safety and efficacy based on the totality of evidence, rather than anecdote and loose comparisons of disparate subgroups from individual trials.

Evaluating Clinical Trials

The subject of trial(s) is difficult… the aim and meaning of all the trials… is

  • to let people know what they ought to do or what they must believe

It was perhaps naïve to imagine that devices as different one from another as the two current FDA-approved drug-eluting
stents would produce identical clinical results. If so, it ought not to come as a surprise that head-to-head randomized trial
data from many different countries in complex settings are now indicating just how differently the 2 devices may perform.

Future trials should be designed and evaluated to examine why these differences exist. Trials residing
only in previous safety and complexity domains

  • are unlikely to offer deeper insights into
    1. device performance,
    2. patient care decisions, or
    3. discrimination of alternative therapies.

We look forward to more trials that will examine what we currently believe to be the limits of

  • drug-eluting stents and interventional cardiology and to

help define in simple terms differences

  • between complex devices applied to complex problems.

This 2009 article was an excellent demonstration of comparing two commonly used coated-stents, and then extending the argument to the need for more data to further delineated the factors that explain the differences they found. In the previous article, the SECOND in the three article series,  Stents and Drug Delivery

Vascular Repair: Stents and Biologically Active Implants

we concentrated on stents and drug delivery, and not on stent failure.  But the following article in J Control Release,

was published the following year, and is another example of this method of explanatory approach to the problem.

Lesion Complexity Determines Arterial Drug Distribution After Local Drug Delivery

AR Tzafriri,  N Vukmirovic, VB Kolachalama, I Astafieva, ER Edelman. J Control Release. 2010; 142(3): 332–338.
http://:dx. doi:.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2009.11.007       PMCID: PMC2994187

Local drug delivery from endovascular stents has transformed how we treat coronary artery disease. Yet, few drugs are in fact effective when delivered from endovascular implants and those that possess a narrow therapeutic window. The width of this window is predicated to a great degree upon the extent of drug deposition and distribution through the arterial wall.

  • Drugs that are retained within the blood vessel are far more effective than those that are not.

Thus, for example, heparin regulates virtually every aspect of the vascular response to injury, but it is so soluble and diffusible that it simply cannot stay in the artery for more than minutes after release.

  • Heparin has no effect on intimal hyperplasia when eluted from a stent.
  • Paclitaxel and sirolimus in contradistinction are far smaller compounds with perhaps more narrow and specific effects than heparin.

These drugs bind tenaciously to tissue protein elements and specific intracellular targets and remain beneath stent struts long after release.

The clinical efficacy of paclitaxel and sirolimus at reducing coronary artery restenosis rates following elution from stents appears incontrovertible. Emerging clinical and preclinical data suggest that the benefit of the local release of these drugs is beset by significant complications, that rise with lesion complexity as

  • the native composition and layered ultrastructure of the native artery is more significantly disrupted.

Virmani and others have hypothesized that the attraction of lipophilic drugs like paclitaxel and sirolimus to fat should affect their retention within and effects upon atheromatous lesions.

Though stents are deployed in diseased arteries drug distribution has only been quantified in intact, non-diseased vessels.

Authors @ MIT, correlated steady-state arterial drug distribution with tissue ultrastructure and composition in abdominal aortae from atherosclerotic human autopsy specimens and rabbits

  • with lesions induced by dietary manipulation and controlled injury.

Drug and compositional metrics were quantified and correlated at a compartmental level, in each of the tunica layers, or at an intra-compartmental level. All images were processed to

  • eliminate backgrounds and artifacts, and
  • pixel values between thresholds were extracted for all zones of interest.

Specific algorithms analyzed each of the histo/immuno-stained arterial structures. Intra-compartmental analyses were

  • performed by sub-dividing arterial cross-sections into 2–64 equal sectors and
  • evaluating the pixel-average luminosity for each sector.

Linear regression of drug versus compositional luminosities asymptotically approached steady state after subdivision into 16 sectors. This system controlled delivered dose and removed the significant unpredictability in release that is imposed by variability

  • in stent position relative to the arterial wall,
  • inflation techniques and stent geometry.
As steady state tissue distribution results were obtained under constant source conditions, without washout by flowing blood,
  • they constitute upper bounds for arterial drug distribution
  • following transient modes of in vivo drug delivery wherein
  • only a fraction of the eluted dose is absorbed by the artery

Paclitaxel, everolimus, and sirolimus deposition in human aortae was maximal in the media and scaled inversely with lipid content.

Net tissue paclitaxel and everolimus levels were indistinguishable in mildly injured rabbit arteries independent of diet. Yet, serial sectioning of cryopreserved arterial segments demonstrated

  • a differential transmural deposition pattern that was amplified with disease and
  • correlated with expression of their intracellular targets, tubulin and FKBP-12.

Tubulin distribution and paclitaxel binding increased with

  • vascular injury and macrophage infiltration, and
  • were reduced with (reduced) lipid content.

Sirolimus analogues and their specific binding target FKBP-12 were less sensitive to alterations of diet
in mildly injured arteries, presumably reflecting a faster transient response of FKBP-12 to injury.

The idea that drug deposition after balloon inflation and stent implantation within diseased, atheromatous and sclerotic vessels tracks so precisely with specific tissue elements is

  • an important consideration of drug-eluting technologies and
  • may well require that we consider diseased rather than naïve tissues in preclinical evaluations.

Another publication in the same year reveals the immense analytical power used in understanding the complexities
of drug-eluting stents.

Luminal Flow Amplifies Stent-Based Drug Deposition in Arterial Bifurcations

Kolachalama VB, Levine EG, Edelman ER.    PLoS ONE 2009; 4(12): e8105.

Treatment of arterial bifurcation lesions using drug-eluting stents (DES) is now common clinical practice.
Arterial drug distribution patterns become challenging to analyze if the lesion involves more than a vessel
such as in the case of bifurcations.  As use extends to nonstraightforward lesions and complex geometries,
questions abound

  • regarding DES longevity and safety

Indeed, there is no consensus on best stent placement scenario, no understanding as to

  • whether DES will behave in bifurcations as they do in straight segments, and
  • whether drug from a main-branch (MB) stent can be deposited within a side-branch (SB).

It is not evident how to

  • efficiently determine the efficacy of local drug delivery and
  • quantify zones of excessive drug that are
  • harbingers of vascular toxicity and thrombosis,
  • and areas of depletion that are associated
  • with tissue overgrowth and
  • luminal re-narrowing.

Geometry modeling and governing equations

Authors @MIT constructed two-phase computational models of stent-deployed arterial bifurcations

  • simulating blood flow and drug transport to investigate the
  • factors modulating drug distribution when the main-branch (MB) was treated using a DES.

The framework for constructing physiologically realistic three dimensional computational models of single
and bifurcated arterial vessels was SolidWorks (Dassault Systemes) (Figs. 1A–1B, Movie S1). The geometry
generation algorithm allowed for controlled alteration of several parameters including

  • stent location
  • strut dimensions
  • stent-cell shape
  • lumen diameter to arterial tissue thickness ratio
  • lengths of the arterial branches
  • extent of stent apposition and
  • the bifurcation angle.

For the current study, equal lengths (2LS) were assumed for the proximal and distal sections of the MB from the bifurcation. The SB was constructed at an angle of 300. The inlet conditions were based on

  • mean blood flow and
  • diameter measurements

obtained from human left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD).

The diameter of the lumen (DMB) and thickness (TMB) for the MB were defined such that DMB=TMB~10 and

  • this ratio was also maintained for the SB.

Schematics of the computational models used for the study. A stent of length LS is placed at the upstream section of the arterial vessel in the (A) absence and in the (B) presence of a bifurcation, respectively.

  • Insets in (B) denote delta wing stent design (i),
  • strut thickness (d) (ii), and
  • the outlets of the side-branch in (iii) and
  • and the main-branch in (iv).

A delta wing-shaped cell design belonging to the class of slotted-tube stents was used for all simulations.
The length (LS) and diameter (DS) were

  • fixed at 9|10-2 m and 3|10-2 m, respectively, for the MB stent.

All stents were assumed to be perfectly apposed to the lumen of MB and the intrinsic strut shape was modeled as

  • square with length 10-4 m.

The continuity and momentum equations were solved within the arterial lumen, where

vf , rho~1060 kg=m3, P and m are

  • velocity
  • density
  • pressure and the
  • viscosity of blood.

In order to capture boundary layer effects at the lumen-wall (or mural) surface, a Carreau model was employed for

  • all the simulations to account for shear thinning behavior of blood at low shear rates

In the arterial lumen, drug transport followed advection-diffusion process.  Similar to the momentum transport in the arterial lumen, the continuity equation was solved within the arterial wall by assuming it as a porous medium.

A finite volume solver (Fluent, ANSYS Inc.) was utilized to perform the coupled flow and drug transport simulations. The semi-implicit method for pressure-linked equations-consistent (SIMPLEC) algorithm was used with second order spatial accuracy. A second order discretization scheme was used to solve the pressure equation and second order  upwind schemes were used for the momentum and concentration variables.

Simulations for each case were performed

  • for at least 2500 iterations or
  • until there was a 1028 reduction in the mass transport residual.

Drug distribution in non-bifurcating vessels

Constant flow simulations generate local recirculation zones juxtaposed to the stent which in turn act as

  • secondary sources of drug deposition and
  • induce an asymmetric tissue drug distribution profile in the longitudinal flow direction.

Our3D computational model predicts a far more extensive fluid mechanic effect on drug deposition than previously appreciated in two-dimensional (2D) domains.

Within the stented region, drug deposition on the mural interface quantified as

  • the area-weighted average drug concentration (AWAC)
  • in the distal segment of the stent is 12% higher than the proximal segment

Total drug uptake in the arterial wall denote as volume-weighted average concentration (VWAC) is highest in the middle segment of the stent and 5% higher than the proximal stent region

Increased mural drug deposition along the flow direction in a non-bifurcating arterial vessel.

Inset shows a high magnification image of drug pattern in the distal stent segment outlined by black dashed line.
The entire stent is divided into three equal sections denoted as proximal, middle and distal sections, respectively
and the same notation is followed for subsequent analyses.


These observations indicate that the flow-mediated effect induced by the presence of the stent in the artery

  • is maximal on the mural surface and
  • increases in the longitudinal flow direction.

Further, these results suggest that transmural diffusion-mediated transport sequesters drug from both

  • the proximal and distal portions of the stent
  • into the central segment of the arterial wall beneath the stent.

Predicted levels of average drug concentration varied exponentially

  • with linear increments of inlet flow rate

but maintained similar relationship between the inter-segment concentration levels within the stented region.

Stent position influences drug distribution in bifurcated beds

The location of the stent directly modulates

  • the extent to which drug is deposited on the arterial wall as well as
  • spatial gradients that are established in arterial drug distribution.

Similar to the non-bifurcating vessel case,

  • peaks in drug deposition occur directly beneath the stent struts regardless of the relative location of the SB with respect to the stent. However,
  • drug distribution and corresponding spatial heterogeneity within inter-strut regions depend on the stent location with respect to the flow divider.
  • Mural drug deposition is a function of relative stent position with respect to the side-branch and Reynolds number in arterial bifurcations.

Impact of flow on drug distribution in bifurcations

One can appreciate how blood flow and flow dividers affect arterial drug deposition, and especially on inter-strut drug deposition.

  • Drug deposition within the stented-region of MB  and the entire SB significantly decreases with flow acceleration regardless of stent placement.

Simulations predicted

Local endovascular drug delivery was long assumed to be governed by diffusion alone. The impact of flow was
thought to be restricted to systemic dilution.

  • 2D computational models suggested a complex interplay between the stent and blood flow
  1. Arterial drug deposition is a function of stent location.   http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0008105.g005
  2. Arterial drug deposition is mediated by flow in bifurcated beds.
  • extensive flow-mediated drug delivery in bifurcated vascular beds where the drug distribution patterns are heterogeneous and sensitive to relative stent position and luminal flow.

A single DES in the MB coupled with large retrograde luminal flow on the lateral wall of the side-branch (SB) can provide drug deposition on the SB lumen-wall interface, except

  • when the MB stent is downstream of the SB flow divider.
  • the presence of the SB affects drug distribution in the stented MB.

Fluid mechanic effects play an even greater role than in the SB

  • especially when the DES is across and downstream to the flow divider
  • and in a manner dependent upon

    the Reynolds number.


We presented the hemodynamic effects on drug distribution patterns using a

  • simplified uniform-cell stent design, though our methodology is adaptable to
    several types of stents with variable design features.

Variability in arterial drug distribution due to other geometric and morphologic aspects such as

  • bifurcation angle, arterial taper as well as presence of a trifurcation can also be understood using our computational framework.

Further, performance of a candidate DES using other commonly used stenting procedures for bifurcation lesions such as culotte and crush techniques can be quantified based on their resulting drug distribution patterns.

Other Related Articles that were published on this Open Access Online Scientific Journal include the following:

Vascular Repair: Stents and Biologically Active Implants

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP and Aviva Lev-Ari, RN, PhD, 5/4/2013

Modeling Targeted Therapy

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP 3/2/2013

Quantum Biology And Computational Medicine

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP 4/3/2013

Virtual Biopsy – is it possible?

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP 3/3/2013

Reprogramming cell fate  3/2/2013

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP

How Methionine Imbalance with Sulfur-Insufficiency Leads to Hyperhomocysteinemia

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP 4/4/2013

Amyloidosis with Cardiomyopathy

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP 3/31/2013

Nitric Oxide, Platelets, Endothelium and Hemostasis

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP 11/8/2012

Mitochondrial Damage and Repair under Oxidative Stress

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP 10/28/2012

Endothelial Function and Cardiovascular Disease

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FACP 10/25/2012

Endothelial Dysfunction, Diminished Availability of cEPCs, Increasing CVD Risk for Macrovascular Disease –Therapeutic Potential of cEPCs

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 8/27/2012

Prostacyclin and Nitric Oxide: Adventures in Vascular Biology – A Tale of Two Mediators

Aviva Lev-Ari, RN, PhD, 4/30/2013

Genetics of Conduction Disease: Atrioventricular (AV) Conduction Disease (block): Gene Mutations – Transcription, Excitability, and Energy Homeostasis

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, 4/28/2013


Revascularization: PCI, Prior History of PCI vs CABG

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, 4/25/2013


Revascularization: PCI, Prior History of PCI vs CABG

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 4/25/2013


Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein (CETP) Inhibitor: Potential of Anacetrapib to treat Atherosclerosis and CAD

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 4/7/2013


Hypertriglyceridemia concurrent Hyperlipidemia: Vertical Density Gradient Ultracentrifugation a Better Test to Prevent Undertreatment of High-Risk Cardiac Patients

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 4/4/2013


Fight against Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease: A Biologics not a Small Molecule – Recombinant Human lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (rhLCAT) attracted AstraZeneca to acquire AlphaCore

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 4/3/2013


High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL): An Independent Predictor of Endothelial Function & Atherosclerosis, A Modulator, An Agonist, A Biomarker for Cardiovascular Risk

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 3/31/2013


Acute Chest Pain/ER Admission: Three Emerging Alternatives to Angiography and PCI

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 3/10/2013


Genomics & Genetics of Cardiovascular Disease Diagnoses: A Literature Survey of AHA’s Circulation Cardiovascular Genetics, 3/2010 – 3/2013

Lev-Ari, A. and L H Bernstein 3/7/2013


The Heart: Vasculature Protection – A Concept-based Pharmacological Therapy including THYMOSIN

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 2/28/2013


Arteriogenesis and Cardiac Repair: Two Biomaterials – Injectable Thymosin beta4 and Myocardial Matrix Hydrogel

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 2/27/2013


Coronary artery disease in symptomatic patients referred for coronary angiography: Predicted by Serum Protein Profiles

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 12/29/2012


Special Considerations in Blood Lipoproteins, Viscosity, Assessment and Treatment

Bernstein, HL and Lev-Ari, A. 11/28/2012


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR-gamma) Receptors Activation: PPARγ transrepression for Angiogenesis in Cardiovascular Disease and PPARγ transactivation for Treatment of Diabetes

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 11/13/2012


Clinical Trials Results for Endothelin System: Pathophysiological role in Chronic Heart Failure, Acute Coronary Syndromes and MI – Marker of Disease Severity or Genetic Determination?

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 10/19/2012


Endothelin Receptors in Cardiovascular Diseases: The Role of eNOS Stimulation

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 10/4/2012


Inhibition of ET-1, ETA and ETA-ETB, Induction of NO production, stimulation of eNOS and Treatment Regime with PPAR-gamma agonists (TZD): cEPCs Endogenous Augmentation for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction – A Bibliography

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 10/4/2012


Positioning a Therapeutic Concept for Endogenous Augmentation of cEPCs — Therapeutic Indications for Macrovascular Disease: Coronary, Cerebrovascular and Peripheral

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 8/29/2012


Cardiovascular Outcomes: Function of circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells (cEPCs): Exploring Pharmaco-therapy targeted at Endogenous Augmentation of cEPCs

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 8/28/2012


Endothelial Dysfunction, Diminished Availability of cEPCs, Increasing CVD Risk for Macrovascular Disease – Therapeutic Potential of cEPCs

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, R N 8/27/2012


Vascular Medicine and Biology: CLASSIFICATION OF FAST ACTING THERAPY FOR PATIENTS AT HIGH RISK FOR MACROVASCULAR EVENTS Macrovascular Disease – Therapeutic Potential of cEPCs

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 8/24/2012


Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and the Role of agent alternatives in endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) Activation and Nitric Oxide Production

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 7/19/2012


Resident-cell-based Therapy in Human Ischaemic Heart Disease: Evolution in the PROMISE of Thymosin beta4 for Cardiac Repair

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 4/30/2012


Triple Antihypertensive Combination Therapy Significantly Lowers Blood Pressure in Hard-to-Treat Patients with Hypertension and Diabetes

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 5/29/2012


Macrovascular Disease – Therapeutic Potential of cEPCs: Reduction Methods for CV Risk

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 7/2/2012


Mitochondria Dysfunction and Cardiovascular Disease – Mitochondria: More than just the “powerhouse of the cell”

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 7/9/2012


Bystolic’s generic Nebivolol – positive effect on circulating Endothelial Proginetor Cells endogenous augmentation

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 7/16/2012


Arteriogenesis and Cardiac Repair: Two Biomaterials – Injectable Thymosin beta4 and Myocardial Matrix Hydrogel

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 2/27/2013


Cardiac Surgery Theatre in China vs. in the US: Cardiac Repair Procedures, Medical Devices in Use, Technology in Hospitals, Surgeons’ Training and Cardiac Disease Severity”

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 1/8/2013


Heart Remodeling by Design – Implantable Synchronized Cardiac Assist Device: Abiomed’s Symphony

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 7/23/2012


Acute Chest Pain/ER Admission: Three Emerging Alternatives to Angiography and PCI

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 3/10/2013


Dilated Cardiomyopathy: Decisions on implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) using left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and Midwall Fibrosis: Decisions on Replacement using late gadolinium enhancement cardiovascular MR (LGE-CMR)

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 3/10/2013

The Heart: Vasculature Protection – A Concept-based Pharmacological Therapy including THYMOSIN

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 2/28/2013

FDA Pending 510(k) for The Latest Cardiovascular Imaging Technology

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 1/28/2013

PCI Outcomes, Increased Ischemic Risk associated with Elevated Plasma Fibrinogen not Platelet Reactivity

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 1/10/2013

The ACUITY-PCI score: Will it Replace Four Established Risk Scores — TIMI, GRACE, SYNTAX, and Clinical SYNTAX

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 1/3/2013

Coronary artery disease in symptomatic patients referred for coronary angiography: Predicted by Serum Protein Profiles

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 12/29/2012

Heart Renewal by pre-existing Cardiomyocytes: Source of New Heart Cell Growth Discovered

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 12/23/2012

Cardiovascular Risk Inflammatory Marker: Risk Assessment for Coronary Heart Disease and Ischemic Stroke – Atherosclerosis.

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 10/30/2012

To Stent or Not? A Critical Decision

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 10/23/2012

New Definition of MI Unveiled, Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR)CT for Tagging Ischemia

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 8/27/2012

Ethical Considerations in Studying Drug Safety — The Institute of Medicine Report

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 8/23/2012

New Drug-Eluting Stent Works Well in STEMI

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 8/22/2012

Expected New Trends in Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medical Devices

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 8/17/2012

Coronary Artery Disease – Medical Devices Solutions: From First-In-Man Stent Implantation, via Medical Ethical Dilemmas to Drug Eluting Stents

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 8/13/2012


Percutaneous Endocardial Ablation of Scar-Related Ventricular Tachycardia

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 7/18/2012


Competition in the Ecosystem of Medical Devices in Cardiac and Vascular Repair: Heart Valves, Stents, Catheterization Tools and Kits for Open Heart and Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS)

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 6/22/2012


Global Supplier Strategy for Market Penetration & Partnership Options (Niche Suppliers vs. National Leaders) in the Massachusetts Cardiology & Vascular Surgery Tools and Devices Market for Cardiac Operating Rooms and Angioplasty Suites

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 6/22/2012


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