A drug delivery vehicle was constructed that could be visualized noninvasively with MRI. The biodegradable polymer poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) was used to fabricate microspheres containing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the MRI contrast agent gadolinium diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (Gd-DTPA). The microspheres were characterized in terms of size, drug and contrast agent encapsulation, and degradation rate. The PLGA microspheres had a mean diameter of 48 ± 18 μm. The gadolinium loading was 17 ± 3 μg/mg polymer and the VEGF loading was 163 ± 22 ng/mg polymer. Electron microscopy revealed that the Gd was dispersed throughout the microspheres and it was confirmed that the Gd loading was sufficient to visualize the microspheres under MRI. VEGF and Gd-DTPA were released from the microspheres in vitro over a period of ∼6 weeks in three phases: a burst, followed by a slow steady-state, then a rapid steady-state. Biodegradable Gd-doped microspheres can be effectively used to deliver drugs in a sustained manner, while being monitored noninvasively with MRI.
- Contrast media
- Drug delivery
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology