UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

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Document Type



Cardiovascular Diseases | Medical Pharmacology | Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry | Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutics | Molecular, Cellular, and Tissue Engineering | Nanomedicine | Pharmacology | Surgical Procedures, Operative | Therapeutics


Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the United States. Treatment often requires surgical interventions to re-open occluded vessels, bypass severe occlusions, or stabilize aneurysms. Despite the short-term success of such interventions, many ultimately fail due to thrombosis or restenosis (following stent placement), or incomplete healing (such as after aneurysm coil placement). Bioactive molecules capable of modulating host tissue responses and preventing these complications have been identified, but systemic delivery is often harmful or ineffective. This review discusses the use of localized bioactive molecule delivery methods to enhance the long-term success of vascular interventions, such as drug-eluting stents and aneurysm coils, as well as nanoparticles for targeted molecule delivery. Vascular grafts in particular have poor patency in small diameter, high flow applications, such as coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Grafts fabricated from a variety of approaches may benefit from bioactive molecule incorporation to improve patency. Tissue engineering is an especially promising approach for vascular graft fabrication that may be conducive to incorporation of drugs or growth factors. Overall, localized and targeted delivery of bioactive molecules has shown promise for improving the outcomes of vascular interventions, with technologies such as drug-eluting stents showing excellent clinical success. However, many targeted vascular drug delivery systems have yet to reach the clinic. There is still a need to better optimize bioactive molecule release kinetics and identify synergistic biomolecule combinations before the clinical impact of these technologies can be realized.


aneurysm, drug delivery, drug eluting stent, nanoparticle, vascular graft, vascular repair, vascular tissue engineering

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Copyright © 2018 Strobel, Qendro, Alsberg and Rolle. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

DOI of Published Version



Front Pharmacol. 2018 Nov 21;9:1329. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.01329. eCollection 2018. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Frontiers in pharmacology

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.