Development of biodegradable radiopaque microsphere for arterial embolization-a pig study

World J Radiol. 2015 Aug 28;7(8):212-9. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v7.i8.212.


Aim: To develop a new type of calibrated, biodegradable, and imaging detectable microsphere and evaluated its embolization safety and efficacy on pig's liver and spleen.

Methods: Six kinds of pharmaceutical excipient were combined and atomized to form our microsphere. Twenty-four male Lanyu pigs weighing 25-30 kg were used. The arteries of spleen and liver were embolized with Gelfoam, Embosphere, or our microsphere. The serum biochemical tests, computed tomography (CT), liver perfusion scan, and tissue microscopy examination were done to evaluate the safety and efficacy of embolization.

Results: Radiopaque microspheres with a size ranging from 300 to 400 μm were produced. Embolization of hepatic and splenic artery of pigs with our microsphere significantly reduced the blood flow of liver and resulted in splenic infarction. The follow-up CT imaging and the microscopic examination showed intraarterial degradation of Gelfoam and microsphere. The blood tests demonstrated insignificant changes with regards to liver and renal functions.

Conclusion: Our microspheres, with the unique characteristics, can be used for transcatheter arterial embolization with effects equivalent to or better than Gelfoam and Embosphere in pigs.

Keywords: Arterial embolization; Atomization; Microsphere; Pharmaceutical excipient.