The use of an endothelium-targeted cationic copolymer to enhance the barrier function of lung capillary endothelial monolayers

Kristina M. Giantsos, Pavla Kopeckova, Randal O. Dull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Acute changes in lung capillary permeability continue to complicate procedures such as cardiopulmonary bypass, solid organ transplant, and major vascular surgery and precipitate the more severe disease state Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). To date there is no treatment targeted directly to the lung microvasculature. We hypothesized that biomimetic polymers could be used to enhance passive barrier function by reducing the porosity of the endothelial glycocalyx and attenuate mechanotransduction by restricting the motion of the glycoproteins implicated in signal transduction. To this end, cationic copolymers containing methacrylamidopropyl trimethylammonium chloride (P-TMA Cl) have been developed as an infusible therapy to target the lung capillary glycocalyx in order to mechanically enhance the capillary barrier and turn off pressure-induced mechanotransduction. Copolymers were tested for functional efficacy by measuring both albumin permeability (PDA) and hydraulic conductivity (Lp) across cultured endothelial monolayers. P-TMA Cl significantly decreased PDA in normal and inflamed cells and attenuated pressure-induced increases in Lp. Decreases in Lp across endothelial monolayers in the presence of P-TMA Cl is evidence of a dampening of mechanotransduction-induced barrier dysfunction. We show the potential for biomimetic polymers targeted to lung endothelium as a viable therapy to enhance endothelial barrier function thereby attenuating a major component of vascular inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5885-5891
Number of pages7
Issue number29
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Endothelial cell
  • Hydraulic conductivity
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Vascular inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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