Microfluidic biomimetic arteriolar networks to study drug elution from embolisation beads
Carugo D., Roy B., Capretto L., Hill M., Maiti TK., Chakraborty S., Zhang X.
Transarterial chemoembolisation (TACE) is a therapeutic procedure generally employed in the treatment of hypervascularised tumours. It is performed by arterial infusion of anticancer drugs followed by injection of embolic materials, thus combining the therapeutic effect of drugs with embolisation-induced tissue ischemia generated by vascular occlusion. Recently, drug-loaded microspherical beads have been introduced and employed as chemoembolic devices, allowing for improved process standardisation and spatially-controlled drug delivery. A range of different experimental methods have been employed for investigating the kinetics of drug elution from drug eluting beads (DEBs) and comparing the elution profiles of different embolic devices. However, no current available system faithfully reproduces the flow dynamics and the intricate architecture of microvascular networks. In the present study, the elution of doxorubicin hydrochloride from hydrogel DEBs was investigated by means of a biomimetic microfluidic device. With the developed system, new insights into the mechanisms of drug elution at clinically-relevant fluidic conditions were obtained, including the effect of the spatial location of the embolic site on the spatio-temporal evolution of the drug elution process.