Development of alginate gel beads with a potential use in the treatment against acute lead poisoning

Int J Biol Macromol. 2017 Dec;105(Pt 1):1010-1016. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2017.07.137. Epub 2017 Jul 24.


The objective was to develop alginate beads that could adsorb lead ions in gastric pH, in view to preconize their use in gastric lavage following lead poisoning. The swelling measurements of both, dry and hydrated beads, were carried out in simulated gastric fluid (SGF). The sorption kinetics was examined at lead concentrations ranging from 50 to 200mg/l. Calcium released during the sorption process was investigated. The swelling rate of the dry beads increased considerably with time increase and reached the equilibrium at 736% after 240min; concerning the hydrated beads, the equilibrium swelling reached 139% after 180min. The adsorption of Pb (II) in SGF by dry beads increased with the increase of time and initial lead concentration. The adsorption kinetics of Pb ions by hydrated alginate beads indicated a rapid binding of Pb ions to the sorbent during the first 15min for all the concentrations, followed by a slow increase until the equilibrium was reached after 90min. The adsorption capacity of Pb ions increased with the increase of the storage time in water at 4°C and with the weight. The amount of Ca2+ released by the beads increased with the increase of Pb ions a rate.

Keywords: Alginate beads; Lead poisoning; Sorption.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adsorption
  • Alginates / chemistry*
  • Alginates / therapeutic use
  • Biomimetics
  • Gels
  • Glucuronic Acid / chemistry
  • Glucuronic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Hexuronic Acids / chemistry
  • Hexuronic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kinetics
  • Lead / chemistry*
  • Lead Poisoning / drug therapy*
  • Microspheres*
  • Stomach / chemistry


  • Alginates
  • Gels
  • Hexuronic Acids
  • Lead
  • Glucuronic Acid