Degrees of macrophage-facilitated healing in aneurysm occlusion devices. Academic Article uri icon


  • Insufficient healing of aneurysms following treatment with vascular occlusion devices put patients at severe risk of fatal rupture. Therefore, promoting healing and not just occlusion is vital to enhance aneurysm healing. Following occlusion device implantation, healing is primarily orchestrated by macrophage immune cells, ending with fibroblasts depositing collagen to stabilize the aneurysm neck and dome, preventing rupture. Several modified occlusion devices are available currently on-market. Previous in vivo work demonstrated that modifications of occlusion devices with a shape memory polymer foam had enhanced aneurysm healing outcomes. To better understand cellular response to occlusion devices and improve aneurysm occlusion device design variables, we developed an in vitro assay to isolate prominent interactions between devices and key healing players: macrophages and fibroblasts. We used THP-1 monocyte derived macrophages and human dermal fibroblasts in our cell culture models. Macrophages were allowed device contact with on-market competitor aneurysm occlusion devices for up to 96h, to allow for any spontaneous device-driven macrophage activation. Macrophage secreted factors were captured in the culture media, in response to device-specific activation. Fibroblasts were then exposed to device-conditioned macrophage media (with secreted factors alone), to determine if there were any device-induced changes in collagen secretion. Our in vitro studies were designed to test the direct effect of devices on macrophage activation, and the indirect effect of devices on collagen secretion by fibroblasts to promote aneurysm healing and stabilization. Over 96h, macrophages displayed significant migration toward and interaction with all tested devices. As compared to other devices, shape memory polymer foams (SMM, Shape Memory Medical) induced significant changes in gene expression indicating a shift toward an anti-inflammatory pro-healing M2-like phenotype. Similarly, macrophages in contact with SMM devices secreted more vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) compared with other devices. Macrophage conditioned media from SMM-contacted macrophages actively promoted fibroblast secretion of collagen, comparable to amounts observed with exogenous stimulation via VEGF supplementation. Our data indicate that SMM devices may promote good aneurysm healing outcomes, because collagen production is an essential step to ultimately stabilize an aneurysm.

published proceedings

  • J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater

altmetric score

  • 10.2

author list (cited authors)

  • Donehoo, D. A., Collier, C. A., VandenHeuvel, S. N., Roy, S., Solberg, S. C., & Raghavan, S. A.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Donehoo, Del A||Collier, Claudia A||VandenHeuvel, Sabrina N||Roy, Sanjana||Solberg, Spencer C||Raghavan, Shreya A

publication date

  • February 2024