Fabrication and characterization of gefitinib-releasing polyurethane foam as a coating for drug-eluting stent in the treatment of bronchotracheal cancer

Weiluan Chen, Chiara di Carlo, Donal Devery, Donnacha J. McGrath, Peter E. McHugh, Kathrin Kleinsteinberg, Stefan Jockenhoevel, Wim E. Hennink, Robbert J. Kok*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Web of Science)


The purpose of the present study was to develop gefitinib-loaded polymeric foams that can be used as coating of drug-eluting stents for palliative treatment of bronchotracheal cancer. Release of such an anticancer drug from such stent coating can retard tumor regrowth into the bronchial lumen. Gefitinib-loaded polyurethane (PU) foams were prepared by embedding either gefitinib micronized crystals or gefitinib-loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) microspheres in water-blown films, with up to 10% w/w loading for gefitinib microcrystals and 15% w/w for gefitinib microspheres (corresponding to 1.0% w/w drug loading). Drug-release studies showed sustained release of gefitinib over a period of nine months, with higher absolute release rates at higher drug loading content. By the end of the studied nine month release periods, 60-100% of the loaded gefitinib had been released. Foams loaded with gefitinib-PLGA microspheres at 15% w/w showed accelerated drug release after 4 months, coinciding with the degradation of PLGA microparticles in the PU foam as demonstrated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). When applied on a nitinol braided bronchotrachial stent, PU coatings with gefitinib microspheres showed similar mechanical properties as the drug-free PU coating, which indicated that the loading of microspheres did not affect the mechnical properties of the PU foams. In conclusion, we have fabricated drug-loaded PU foams that are suitable for bronchotracheal stent coating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-811
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2018
Event10th European Workshop on Particulate Systems - Department of Pharmacy, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 19 Jan 201720 Jan 2017


  • Gefitinib
  • Polyurethane (PU) foams
  • Drug-eluting stent
  • Polymeric microspheres
  • Bronchotracheal cancer
  • Controlled release

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