Surface modification of esophageal stent materials by a polyethylenimine layer aiming at anti-cancer function

  • Kun Zhang
  • Yuxin Bai
  • Xiaofeng Wang
  • Qian Li
  • Fangxia Guan
  • Jingan Li
Tissue Engineering Constructs and Cell Substrates Original Research
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Tissue Engineering Constructs and Cell Substrates


Esophageal cancer is difficult to cure globally and possesses high mortality rate, and it is generally accepted that palliative care such as stent implantation is the main therapy method for esophageal cancer in later period. However, the restenosis caused by tumor cells and inflammatory cells seriously interferes the stent clinical application and limits its long-term services. To solve this problem, series of drug delivery stents were developed and proven rather effective in the early stage of implantation, but more serious restenosis occurred after the drug delivery was over, which endangered the patients’ life. Therefore, endowing the esophageal stent continuous anti-cancer function become an ideal strategy for inhibiting the restenosis. In this contribution, the functional layer composed of polydopamine (PDA) and Poly-ethylenimine (PEI) with series of molecular weights (MW, 1.8 × 103, 1 × 104, 2.5 × 104 and 7 × 104 Da) were fabricated onto the esophageal stent material 317L stainless steel (317L SS) surface. The surface characterization including amine quantitative, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and water contact angle measurement indicated successful preparation of the PDA/PEI layer. The Eca109 cells culture results proved that the PDA/PEI layers significantly improve Eca109 cells apoptosis and necrosis, suggesting excellent anti-cancer function. In addition, we also found that the anti-cancer function of the PDA/PEI layers was positively correlated to the immobilized PEIs’ MW. All the results demonstrated the potential application of the PDA/PEI layers on the surface modification of esophageal stent for continuous anti-cancer function.

Graphical abstract

It is generally accepted that the restenosis caused by tumor cells seriously interferes the esophageal stent clinical application. Thus, endowing the esophageal stent continuous anti-cancer function is the ideal strategy for inhibiting the restenosis. In this work, we fabricated functional layers composed of polydopamine (PDA) and Poly-ethylenimine (PEI) with series of molecular weights (MW, 1.8 × 103, 1 × 104, 2.5 × 104 and 7 × 104 Da) onto the esophageal stent material 317L stainless steel (317L SS) surface to inhibit the tumor cells growth, and this function was related to the PEIs’ molecular weights. The functional PDA/PEI layers were expected potentially applied for surface modification of esophageal stent materials. Open image in new window



We acknowledge the Joint Fund for Fostering Talents of National Natural Science Foundation of China and Henan province (U1504310), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2014M562333 and 2015M582206), National Center for International Research of Micro-nano Molding Technology & Key Laboratory for Micro Molding Technology of Henan Province (MMT2016-09 and MMT2017-01), and Young Teachers Foundation of Zhengzhou University (No. 32210475) for financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kun Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yuxin Bai
    • 1
  • Xiaofeng Wang
    • 2
  • Qian Li
    • 2
  • Fangxia Guan
    • 1
  • Jingan Li
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Life ScienceZhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouPR China
  2. 2.National Center for International Research of Micro-nano Molding Technology & Key Laboratory for Micro Molding Technology of Henan ProvinceZhengzhouPR China
  3. 3.School of Material Science and EngineeringZhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouPR China

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