Incorporating Chemotherapeutic Drug into a Personalisable Silicone Airway Stent for the Treatment of Lung Cancer and Tracheobronchomalacia

Jesse Xu


Central Airway Obstruction (CAO) is a symptom experienced by patients who suffer from obstructed airways between the trachea to secondary bronchus. These may arise from airway strictures, obstructing airway cancers, or tracheobronchomalacia. Such disease states result in loss of airway patency and the potential dynamic collapse of the airway wall, which could be managed by airway stents. However, current marketed stents are a ‘one shape fits all’ with individual airway geometries overlooked. As a result, issues of granulation tissue growth and stent migration are prevalent. Current research has focused towards improvement in 3D-imaging and 3D-printing methods, with silicone moulding used to create custom-made stents that are personalised to individual airways. In this study, a chemotherapeutic drug, paclitaxel, was investigated for its possibility to be incorporated in to a personalisable silicone airway stent model. This study aims to establish the release profile and cellular toxicity of paclitaxel when incorporated within silicone. It was confirmed that paclitaxel was eluted from the silicone at different rates between raw paclitaxel concentrations of 0.02%, 0.20%, and ethanol diluted concentrations. It was also confirmed that lung epithelial cell lines remained viable after contact with paclitaxel eluting silicone coupons. This study concluded that there is potential in incorporating silicone stents with drugs such as paclitaxel during the manufacturing process, and its possible future in the treatment of CAO.

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