The development of antifibrotic materials and coatings that can resist the foreign body response (FBR) continues to present a major hurdle in the advancement of current and next-generation implantable medical devices, biosensors, and cell therapies. From an implant perspective, the most important issue associated with the FBR is the prolonged inflammatory response leading to a collagenous capsule that ultimately blocks mass transport and communication between the implant and the surrounding tissue. Up to now, most attempts to reduce the capsule thickness have focused on providing surface coatings that reduce protein fouling and cell attachment. Here, we present an approach that is based on the sustained release of a peptide drug interfering with the FBR. In this study, the biodegradable polymer poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) was used as a coating releasing the relaxin peptide analogue B7-33, which has been demonstrated to reduce organ fibrosis in animal models. While in vitro protein quantification was used to demonstrate controlled release of the antifibrotic peptide B7-33 from PLGA coatings, an in vitro reporter cell assay was used to demonstrate that B7-33 retains activity against the relaxin family peptide receptor 1 (RXFP1). Subcutaneous implantation of PLGA-coated polypropylene samples in mice with and without the peptide demonstrated a marked reduction in capsule thickness (49.2%) over a 6 week period. It is expected that this novel approach will open the door to a range of new and improved implantable medical devices.
- fibrotic encapsulation
- medical devices