In the study, a novel drug-eluting stent for treating the coronary arterial stenosis was developed. Using a spray-coating method, aqueous bovine type I collagen and sirolimus were coated layer-by-layer alternatively onto the surface of a metallic stent and a topcoat of collagen was used as a barrier to control drug release. To prevent dissolution of the collagen matrices, the spray-coated collagen was further crosslinked by genipin, a naturally occurring crosslinking agent. The results obtained in the atomic force microscopy (AFM) examination suggested that the spray-coated collagen was tightly adhered to the surface of the stent. Additionally, the collagen coating was demonstrated by the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to be sufficiently flexible to allow balloon expansion of the stent without cracking or peeling from the wire. The resistance against enzymatic degradation and the hemocompatibility of the collagen matrices increased significantly as their degree of crosslinking increased. All the studied sirolimus-loaded stents exhibited a nearly linear sustained-release profile (except at the end stage of release) with no significant burst releases. It was found that a topcoat of collagen on the collagen/sirolimus coated stent did slow down the release of sirolimus to some extent. Additionally, the number of layers of collagen/sirolimus coated significantly affected the duration of sirolimus released. Furthermore, the sustained-release duration of sirolimus was proportional to the actual amount of drug loaded on the stent. The aforementioned results indicated that the drug-eluting stent developed had a tightly adhered collagen coating and can be used as a drug reservoir to sustain release of sirolimus.
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