Safety evaluation of the guardian device on the common carotid artery in sheep

Natalie L. James, Zoran Milijasevic, Anthony Ujhazy, David Huber, Randi Rotne, Glenn Edwards, Kieri Jermyn, David S. Celermajer

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Abstract

Background: Pulse pressure intensity in middle-aged adults is a risk factor for dementia. The Guardian device (The Brain Protection Company, Sydney, Australia) has been developed to reduce pulse pressure, as a potential therapy. Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety of the Guardian, a novel pulse modulation device designed to reduce the intensity of the pulse pressure that penetrates into the cerebral small vessels. The Guardian is a helix that gently wraps around the common carotid artery (CCA) to slightly change its shape, to absorb pulsatility, without lowering flow.
Methods: The Guardian was implanted bilaterally on the CCAs of 10 mature sheep for chronic implant periods of 3, 6 or 8 months. The ratio of internal device diameter to outer diameter of the CCA varied from 63% to 92% (n = 20). The implant position on the vessel was marked surgically at implant. Gross pathology and histopathology of the CCA were examined at 3- and 6-months post explant. Most devices were explanted using open surgery, however minimally invasive surgical explant techniques were examined in 2 animals to assess the potential of this approach for explant in humans if required.
Results: The Guardian was successfully implanted with no adverse events, and minimally invasive explant appeared to be viable for removal. Following implant, the device was surrounded by a thin fibrous capsule, with similar pathology at 3- and 6-months. Minimal or no movement was observed. CCA sections appeared histologically normal, with no evidence of thrombosis, stenosis, fibrosis, chronic inflammatory response, or vessel degeneration.
Conclusions: The feasibility of surgical implantation and biomaterial safety of the Guardian was confirmed over 8 months. Minimally invasive explant of the Guardian has the potential to be viable. Further work is required to demonstrate efficacy in vitro and/or in vivo before evaluation in humans.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14909
Number of pages11
JournalHeliyon
Volume9
Issue number4
Early online date26 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

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