Smart hydrogels for biomedical applications are highly researched materials. However, integrating them into a device for implantation is difficult. This paper investigates an integrated delivery device designed to deliver an electro-responsive hydrogel to a target location inside a blood vessel with the purpose of creating an occlusion. The paper describes the synthesis and characterization of a Pluronic/methacrylic acid sodium salt electro-responsive hydrogel. Application of an electrical bias decelerates the expansion of the hydrogel. An integrated delivery system was manufactured to deliver the hydrogel to the target location in the body. Ex vivo and in vivo experiments in the carotid artery of sheep were used to validate the concept. The hydrogel was able to completely occlude the blood vessel reducing the blood flow from 245 to 0 ml/min after implantation. Ex vivo experiments showed that the hydrogel was able to withstand physiological blood pressures of > 270 mm·Hg without dislodgement. The results showed that the electro-responsive hydrogel used in this paper can be used to create a long-term occlusion in a blood vessel without any apparent side effects. The delivery system developed is a promising device for the delivery of electro-responsive hydrogels.
- Blood vessel
- delivery device