Biodegradation and Brain Tissue Reaction to poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) Microspheres

Biomaterials. 1993 May;14(6):470-8. doi: 10.1016/0142-9612(93)90151-q.


The therapeutic application of neuroactive molecules in neuroscience is limited, due to the problems posed by the administration of these drugs (peripheral metabolism, systemic effect and passage of the blood-brain barrier). One solution is the implantation in the brain of biodegradable polymer devices with controlled release of a neuroactive drug. The biodegradation and tissue reaction of the copolymer poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) microspheres prepared by the solvent evaporation method, radiosterilized and stereotactically implanted in the rat brain were studied by routine staining, immunohistochemistry and transmission electronic microscopy. The brain tissue reaction observed was a non-specific astrocytic proliferation and a macrophagous-microglial cell reaction, typically found following damage to the central nervous system. Some foreign-body giant cells were observed and the inflammatory and macrophagous reaction decreased dramatically after 1 month and almost ended after 2 months when the microspheres were totally biodegraded. The copolymer poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) microspheres may be considered biocompatible to the brain tissue.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning Transmission
  • Microspheres
  • Polyglactin 910 / adverse effects*
  • Prostheses and Implants / adverse effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Stereotaxic Techniques


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Polyglactin 910