Selection and fabrication of a non-woven polycarbonate urethane cover for a tissue engineered airway stent

Weiluan Chen, Johanna Clauser, Anja Lena Thiebes, Donnacha J. McGrath, Peter E. McHugh, Ulrich Steinseifer, Stefan Jockenhoevel, Wim E. Hennink, Robbert Jan Kok*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Web of Science)


One of the major problems in end-stage bronchotracheal cancer is stenosis of the upper airways, either due to luminal ingrowth of the tumor or mucus plugging. Airway stents that suppress tumor ingrowth and sustain mucociliary transport can alleviate these problems in end-stage bronchial cancer. We evaluated different types of polymeric covers for a tissue engineered airway stent. The distinguishing feature of this stent concept is that respiratory epithelial cells can grow on the luminal surface of the stent which facilitates mucociliary clearance. To facilitate growth of epithelial cells at the air-liquid interface of the stent, we developed a polyurethane cover that allows transport of nutrients to the cells. Nonwoven polycarbonate urethane (PCU) covers were prepared by a spraying process and evaluated for their porosity and glucose permeability. Respiratory epithelial cells harvested from sheep trachea were cultured onto the selected PCU cover and remained viable at the air-liquid interface when cultured for 21days. Lastly, we evaluated the radial force of a PCU-covered nitinol stent, and showed the PCU covers did not adversely affect the mechanical properties of the stents for their intended application in the smaller bronchi. These in vitro data corroborate the design of a novel airway stent for palliative treatment of bronchotracheal stenosis by combination of stent-technology with tissue-engineered epithelial cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-262
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016


  • Bronchotracheal cancer
  • Tissue engineering
  • Airway stenosis
  • Polymeric cover

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