Radiopaque hydrogel filaments were prepared, characterized, and evaluated for potential use as implants for endovascular embolization of vascular defects. Three hydrogel formulations were prepared by free radical polymerization: (i) poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate with 2,4,6-triiodophenyl penta-4-enoate (PEG-I), (ii) poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylamide with barium sulfate (PEG-B), and (iii) poly(propylene glycol) diacrylate with barium sulfate (PPG-B). The PEG-B and PPG-B hydrogels exhibited radiopacity comparable with clinically used platinum coils, whereas the PEG-I hydrogel did not. In the dry state, the average ultimate tensile strength and strain of the hydrogels ranged from 37 to 128 gf and 21% to 72%, respectively. The PEG-B hydrogel had significantly higher tensile strength compared with the PEG-I hydrogel. In the hydrated state, the average ultimate tensile strength and strain ranged from 5 to 15 gf and 7% to 30%, respectively. Statistically significant differences in tensile strength were not present when hydrated. Compared with poly(ethylene) after 4-week implantation into the subcutaneous space of rabbits, the PEG-I hydrogel elicited slightly more inflammation, whereas the PEG-B and PPG-B hydrogels elicited less inflammation. All three hydrogel formulations elicited less fibrous encapsulation than poly(ethylene). With further development, these materials have potential as embolization devices.
(c) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.