Purpose: To demonstrate in vivo that platinum embolic coils can be used to deliver genetically modified, growth factor-secreting fibroblast grafts into the endovascular space with the long-term goal of improving fibrosis within coil-embolized cerebral aneurysms.
Materials and methods: Murine fibroblasts that contained multiple inserts of the DNA for human basic fibroblast growth factor were grown in culture onto 10-mm-long segments of Guglielmi detachable coils. Control (n = 4) and fibroblast-bearing (n = 4) coils were implanted into the common carotid artery in nude rats. The arterial segments that contained the coil were harvested after 14 or 35 days. Cellular content and collagen formation in the treated vessels were assessed histologically.
Results: At both 14 and 35 days, samples with control coils showed primarily involuting blood elements with minimal fibroblast proliferation or collagen formation. At 14 days, samples with fibroblast-bearing coils showed extensive fibroblast proliferation. At 35 days, samples with fibroblast-bearing coils showed marked interval fibroblast proliferation and collagen formation.
Conclusion: Platinum coils can be used as a cell delivery device. Direct intravascular implantation of growth factor-secreting fibroblast grafts leads to improved intravascular scar formation, therefore theoretically reducing the potential for aneurysm regrowth or coil compaction.