2020 journal article
Bioactive‐Tissue‐Derived Nanocomposite Hydrogel for Permanent Arterial Embolization and Enhanced Vascular Healing
Transcatheter embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that uses embolic agents to intentionally block diseased or injured blood vessels for therapeutic purposes. Embolic agents in clinical practice are limited by recanalization, risk of non-target embolization, failure in coagulopathic patients, high cost, and toxicity. Here, a decellularized cardiac extracellular matrix (ECM)-based nanocomposite hydrogel is developed to provide superior mechanical stability, catheter injectability, retrievability, antibacterial properties, and biological activity to prevent recanalization. The embolic efficacy of the shear-thinning ECM-based hydrogel is shown in a porcine survival model of embolization in the iliac artery and the renal artery. The ECM-based hydrogel promotes arterial vessel wall remodeling and a fibroinflammatory response while undergoing significant biodegradation such that only 25% of the embolic material remains at 14 days. With its unprecedented proregenerative, antibacterial properties coupled with favorable mechanical properties, and its superior performance in anticoagulated blood, the ECM-based hydrogel has the potential to be a next-generation biofunctional embolic agent that can successfully treat a wide range of vascular diseases.