Ion implantation and protein coating of detachable coils for endovascular treatment of cerebral aneurysms: concepts and preliminary results in swine models

Neurosurgery. 1997 Jun;40(6):1233-43; discussion 1243-4. doi: 10.1097/00006123-199706000-00024.


Objective: Complete anatomic obliteration remains difficult to achieve with endovascular treatment of wide-necked aneurysms using Guglielmi detachable platinum coils (GDCs). Ion implantation is a physicochemical surface modification process resulting from the impingement of a high-energy ion beam. Ion implantation and protein coating were used to alter the surface properties (thrombogenicity, endothelial cellular migration, and adhesion) of GDCs. These modified coils were compared with standard GDCs in the treatment of experimental swine aneurysms.

Methods: In an initial study, straight platinum coils were used to compare the acute thrombogenicity of standard and modified coils. Modified coils were coated with albumin, fibronectin, or collagen and underwent Ne+ ion implantation at a dose of 1 x 10(15) ions/cm2 and an energy of 150 keV. Coils were placed in common iliac arteries of 17 swine for 1 hour, to evaluate their acute interactions with circulating blood. In a second study, GDCs were used to treat 34 aneurysms in an additional 17 swine. GDCs were coated with fibronectin, albumin, collagen, laminin, fibrinogen, or vitronectin and then implanted with ions as described above. Bilateral experimental swine aneurysms were embolized with standard GDCs on one side and with ion-implanted, protein-coated GDCs on the other side. The necks of aneurysms were evaluated macroscopically at autopsy, by using post-treatment Day 14 specimens. The dimensions of the orifice and the white fibrous membrane that covered the orifice were measured as the fibrous membrane to orifice proportion. Histopathological evaluation of the neck region was performed by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.

Results: Fibronectin-coated, ion-implanted coils showed the greatest acute thrombogenicity (average thrombus weight for standard coils, 1.9 +/- 1.5 mg; weight for fibronectin-coated coils, 8.6 +/- 6.2 mg; P < 0.0001). By using scanning electron microscopy, an intensive blood cellular response was observed on ion-implanted coil surfaces, whereas this was rare with standard coils. At Day 14, greater fibrous coverage of the necks of aneurysms was observed in the ion-implanted coil group (mean fibrous membrane to orifice proportion of 69.8 +/- 6.2% for the ion-implanted coil group, compared with 46.8 +/- 15.9% for the standard coil group; P = 0.0143).

Conclusion: The results of this preliminary experimental study indicate that ion implantation combined with protein coating of GDCs improved cellular adhesion and proliferation. Future application of this technology may provide early wound healing at the necks of embolized, wide-necked, cerebral aneurysms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carotid Arteries / pathology
  • Carotid Artery Thrombosis / pathology
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / pathology
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Male
  • Materials Testing
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Platinum*
  • Proteins
  • Surface Properties
  • Swine


  • Proteins
  • Platinum