High molecular weight alginate beads with 59% mannuronic acid content or 68% guluronic acid were prepared using a droplet generator and crosslinked in calcium chloride. The alginate beads were compared to current embolisation microspheres for compressibility and monitored over 12 weeks for size and weight change at 37 degrees C in low volumes of ringers solutions. A sheep uterine model was used to analyse bead degradation and inflammatory response over 12 weeks. Both the in vitro and in vivo data show good delivery, with a compressibility similar to current embolic beads. In vitro, swelling was noted almost immediately and after 12 weeks the first signs of degradation were noted. No difference was noted in vivo. This study has shown that high molecular weight alginate gel beads were well tolerated by the body, but beads associated with induced thrombi were susceptible to inflammatory cell infiltration. The beads were shown to be easy to handle and were still observable after 3 months in vivo. The beads were robust enough to be delivered through a 2.7 Fr microcatheter. This study has demonstrated that high molecular weight, high purity alginate bead can be considered as semi-permanent embolisation beads, with the potential to bioresorb over time
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