Doxorubicin eluting beads − 1: effects of drug loading on bead characteristics and drug distribution

A.L. Lewis, M.V. Gonzalez, S.W. Leppard, J. Brown, P.W. Stratford, Gary Phillips, Andrew Lloyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DC BeadTM is a FDA cleared embolisation device for the treatment of hypervascular tumours and arteriovenous malformations. This product is currently evaluated in a number of centres in Europe as an embolic device for transarterial chemoembolisation (TACE). The beads consist of poly(vinyl alcohol) microspheres modified with sulfonic acid groups and are available at different size ranges varying from 100 to 900 μm in diameter. The beads were shown to actively sequester doxorubicin hydrochloride (dox) from solution in a time dependent upon the dose of the drug and size of the beads. Drug uptake was by an ion-exchange mechanism, and in the absence of other ions in solution, the beads could load a maximum of around 40 mg dox/mL hydrated beads, with >99% of drug being sequestered from the solution. A loading of 25 mg dox/mL beads was recommended as providing a practical therapeutic dose and optimum handling characteristics. There was a decrease in equilibrium water content of the beads with increasing dox loading, which resulted in a decrease in the average diameter of the beads and an increase in the compressive modulus. The deliverability properties, however, were not affected after drug loading. Using a variety of microscopic methods, the drug was shown to be distributed throughout the bead structure, but concentrated in the outer 20 μm surface layer, a feature related to the method of synthesis. This study characterises the properties of DC Bead loaded with dox with respect to important characteristics in embolisation and demonstrates the potential of this drug device combination for the treatment of hypervascular tumours such as hepatocellular carcinoma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1691-1699
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Science Materials in Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007


Dive into the research topics of 'Doxorubicin eluting beads − 1: effects of drug loading on bead characteristics and drug distribution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this