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Journal of Drug Delivery
Volume 2013, Article ID 242060, 9 pages
Research Article

Intravital Microscopic Research of Microembolization with Degradable Starch Microspheres

1Cardiac Center, University of Freiburg, Südring 15, 79189 Bad Krozingen, Germany
2PharmaCept GmbH, Bessemerstraße 82, 12103 Berlin, Germany
3Department of Surgery, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Hindenburgdamm 30, 12200 Berlin, Germany

Received 13 June 2013; Revised 10 September 2013; Accepted 2 October 2013

Academic Editor: Ram I. Mahato

Copyright © 2013 Micaela Ebert et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Treatment efficacy in cancer patients using systemically applied cytostatic drugs is decreased by cytotoxic side effects, which limits the use of efficient dosages. Degradable starch microspheres (DSM) are used to apply drugs into blood vessels which supply the target organ leading to drug accumulation in the target organ by reduction of the blood flow. The present investigations show that DSM is a very effective embolization material leading to effective and enhanced accumulation of 5-FU within the liver tumor tissue of experimental induced liver cancer in rats. By using intravital microscopy, a rapid deceleration of the blood flow into the target organ is observed immediately after application of DSM. The microspheres are stepwise degraded in the direction of the systemic blood flow and are totally dissolved after 25 minutes. These stepwise processes leave the degraded material during the degradation process within the vessels leading to temporally reciprocal blood flow via some of the side-arms of the major blood vessels. By using DMS in transarterial chemoembolization (TACE), severe adverse side effects like postembolization syndrome are rarely observed when compared to other embolization materials. The complete degradation of DSM causes only a short-lasting temporary vascular occlusion, which allows a repeat application of DSM in TACE.