MetaPhore reports general anti-inflammatory surface treatment for biomedical materials

ST. LOUIS, June 27, 2000 -- The nearly 50,000 heart surgery patients who suffer severe problems after stents are inserted into their unclogged arteries are among the growing number Americans with medical implants who may benefit from a general anti-inflammatory surface treatment for biomedical materials reported for the first time today in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Some estimates suggest that one in ten Americans may have a medical implant of some kind.

Researchers at MetaPhore Pharmaceuticals treated the surface of three commonly used device materials -- polyethylene, poly(etherurethane urea) and tantalum metal -- to allow permanent attachment of a new class of anti-inflammatory drugs, and then implanted the materials in a rat model. Examination of tissue surrounding the implant revealed a dose dependent anti-inflammatory effect, including:

  • A dramatic reduction in both acute and chronic inflammation around the materials,
  • A potent inhibitory effect on matrix production and fibrosis on the implant surface, and
  • A protective effect on poly(etherurethane urea) biodegradation in vivo

"These dramatic results are, to our knowledge, the first description of a general anti-inflammatory surface treatment for biomedical materials," said Kishore Udipi of Metaphore Pharmaceuticals. Other members of the research team included: Denis Forster and Dennis Riley, also of Metaphore Pharmaceuticals and Richard L. Ornberg, Bruce Thurmond and Steven Settle of Searle.

The new class of anti-inflammatory drugs simulates -- or mimics -- the natural enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD), which combats superoxide ions secreted by white blood cells in the body in its efforts to break down a material implant. Unchecked, the secretion of superoxide ions, as well as digestive enzymes, results in the implant's degradation and loss of function as well as chronic inflammation and fibrotic capsule formation.

Superoxide is a free

Contact: Steve Littlejohn
Kupper Parker Communications

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