Brain biocompatibility of a biodegradable, controlled‐release polymer in rats

Rafael J. Tamargo, Jonathan I. Epstein, Carla S. Reinhard, Mark Chasin, Henry Brem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


We report the biocompatibility in the rat brain of a controlled‐release, biodegradable polymer, the polyanhydride poly‐[bis(p‐carboxyphenoxy)propane‐sebacic acid] copolymer (PCPP‐SA) in a 20:80 formulation. The biodegradable polyanhydride can be used for drug delivery directly into the brain, circumventing the difficulties posed by the blood—brain barrier and avoiding the consequences of having to administer toxic doses systemically to reach therapeutic doses in the central nervous system. The tissue reaction in the presence of PCPP‐SA was compared to that seen with other standard neurosurgical implants. Fifty‐six adult Sprague‐Dawley rats were assigned to one of seven groups and underwent bilateral frontal lobe implantation of PCPP‐SA (42 hemispheres), Surgicel (oxidized regenerated cellulose) (35 hemispheres), or Gelfoam (absorbable gelatin sponge) (35 hemispheres). None of the animals showed any behavioral changes or neurological deficits suggestive of either systemic or localized toxicity from the biodegradable polyanhydride, all surviving to the scheduled data of sacrifice. PCPP‐SA evoked a well localized inflammatory reaction, comparable to that of Surgicel, which resolved as the PCPP‐SA polymer degraded over five weeks. The biodegradable polyanhydride has been shown in this study to be nontoxic and biocompatible in the rat brain, when compared to standard neurosurgical implants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-266
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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