Failure to remove a retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filter can cause severe complications with high treatment costs. Polydioxanone (PPDO) has been shown to be a good candidate material for resorbable IVC filters. However, PPDO is radioluscent under conventional imaging modalities. Thus, the positioning and integrity of these PPDO filters cannot be monitored by computed tomography (CT) or x-ray. Here we report the development of radiopaque PPDO IVC filters based on gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). Commercially available PPDO sutures were infused with AuNPs. Scanning electron microscopy analysis confirmed the presence of AuNP on the surface of PPDO. Micro-CT and x-ray images of the AuNP-infused PPDO sutures showed significant signal enhancement compared to untreated PPDO sutures. Elemental analysis showed that gold loading exceeded 2000 ppm. Tensile strength and in vitro cytotoxicity showed no significant difference between AuNP-infused and untreated PPDO. In a 10-week stability study, neither the gold content nor the radiopacity of the infused PPDO sutures significantly changed in the first 6 weeks. The increased attenuation of AuNP-infused PPDO sutures indicates their major advantage as a radiopaque resorbable filter material, as the radiopacity allows monitoring of the position and integrity of the filter, thereby increasing its safety and efficacy.
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