The widespread use of miniaturized chemical sensors to monitor clinically important analytes such as PO2, PCO2, pH, electrolytes, glucose and lactate in a continuous, real-time manner has been seriously hindered by the erratic analytical results often obtained when such devices are implanted in vivo. One major factor that has influenced the analytical performance of indwelling sensors is the biological response they elicit when in contact with blood or tissue (e.g. thrombus formation on the device surface, inflammatory response, encapsulation, etc.). Nitric oxide (NO) has been shown to be a potent inhibitor of platelet adhesion and activation as well as a promoter of wound healing in tissue. Herein, we review recent work aimed at the development of hydrophobic NO-releasing polymers that can be employed to coat catheter-type amperometric oxygen sensors without interfering with the analytical performance of these devices. Such modified sensors are shown to exhibit greatly enhanced hemocompatibility and improved analytical performance when implanted within porcine carotid and femoral arteries for up to 16 h. Further, results from preliminary studies also demonstrate that prototype fluorescent oxygen sensors, catheter-style potentiometric carbon dioxide sensors and subcutaneous needle-type enzyme-based amperometric glucose sensors can also be fabricated with new NO-release outer coatings without compromising the analytical response characteristics of these devices. The NO-release strategy may provide a solution to the lingering biocompatibility problems encountered when miniature chemical sensors are implanted in vivo.
- In vivo
- Nitric oxide release