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Physical vein models to quantify the flow performance of sclerosing foams

Bottaro, E; Paterson, J; Zhang, X; Hill, M; Patel, VA; Jones, SA; Lewis, AL; ... Carugo, D; + view all (2019) Physical vein models to quantify the flow performance of sclerosing foams. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology , 7 , Article 109. 10.3389/fbioe.2019.109. Green open access

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Abstract

Foam sclerotherapy is clinically employed to treat varicose veins. It involves intravenous injection of foamed surfactant agents causing endothelial wall damage and vessel shrinkage, leading to subsequent neovascularization. Foam production methods used clinically include manual techniques, such as the Double Syringe System (DSS) and Tessari (TSS) methods. Pre-clinical in-vitro studies are conducted to characterize the performance of sclerosing agents; however, the experimental models used often do not replicate physiologically relevant physical and biological conditions. In this study, physical vein models (PVMs) were developed and employed for the first time to characterize the flow behavior of sclerosing foams. PVMs were fabricated in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) by replica molding, and were designed to mimic qualitative geometrical characteristics of veins. Foam behavior was investigated as a function of different physical variables, namely (i) geometry of the vein model (i.e., physiological vs. varicose vein), (ii) foam production technique, and (iii) flow rate of a blood surrogate. The experimental set-up consisted of a PVM positioned on an inclined platform, a syringe pump to control the flow rate of a blood substitute, and a pressure transducer. The static pressure of the blood surrogate at the PVM inlet was measured upon foam administration. The recorded pressure-time curves were analyzed to quantify metrics of foam behavior, with a particular focus on foam expansion and degradation dynamics. Results showed that DSS and TSS foams had similar expansion rate in the physiological PVM, whilst DSS foam had lower expansion rate in the varicose PVM compared to TSS foam. The degradation rate of DSS foam was lower than TSS foam, in both model architectures. Moreover, the background flow rate had a significant effect on foam behavior, enhancing foam displacement rate in both types of PVM.

Type: Article
Title: Physical vein models to quantify the flow performance of sclerosing foams
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fbioe.2019.109
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2019.109
Language: English
Additional information: © 2019 Bottaro, Paterson, Zhang, Hill, Patel, Jones, Lewis, Millar and Carugo. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: physical vein model, varicose vein, microfluidic, foam, foam sclerotherapy, physician compounded foam
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Pharmaceutics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10109394
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