Ex-vivo endothelium-stent contact model

Scope of the method

The Method relates to
  • Human health
The Method is situated in
  • Basic Research
Type of method
  • In vitro - Ex vivo
This method makes use of
  • Animal derived cells / tissues / organs
Species from which cells/tissues/organs are derived
Type of cells/tissues/organs
Thoracic aorta


Method keywords
  • endothelial dysfunction
  • coronary stent
  • reactive oxygen species
  • oxidative stress
  • nitric oxide
  • corrosion
  • biodegradable materials
  • vascular tissue
Scientific area keywords
  • Material Science
  • Toxicology
  • cardiovascular
  • biomaterials
  • biocompatible
Method description

The ex-vivo endothelium-stent contact model allows measuring the impact of implants on the arterial tissue. The endothelium is directly exposed by inserting a wire made of the investigated material into the lumen of the aortic ring to mimic the contact between the coronary stent and the endothelium. The impact of degradation and corrosion products is evaluated by measuring the vasorelaxation induced by carbachol. Many fundamental aspects, such as endothelium dysfunction, oxidative stress and nitric oxide levels, can be evaluated with this assay. This method was developed for iron-based materials, but it may act as a point of reference for similar studies in other systems.

Lab equipment
  • Organ bath (for vasorelaxation analysis) ;
  • PCR (for gene oxidative stress expression analysis) ;
  • EPR (for nitric oxide production) ;
  • WB (for protein analysis).
Method status
  • Internally validated

Pros, cons & Future potential

  • - Simple ;
  • - Minimises the number of animals used per experiment ;
  • - Avoids other variables such as the structure of the stent ;
  • - There is a margin for the creativity as many changes can be made such as adding inducers/inhibitors to the system, using healthy or diseased tissue, or indirect exposure to the material.

Rat aortic rings can be maintained alive for a limited time (~10h).

Future & Other applications
  • - Other materials ;
  • - Similar studies in other systems.

References, associated documents and other information

Contact person

Eleonora Scarcello


Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)
Brussels Region


Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)