Synthesis and characterization of polystyrene embolization particles doped with tantalum oxide nanoparticles for X-ray contrast.
Morrison R., Thompson J., Bird L., Hill MA., Townley H.
Radiopaque and fluorescent embolic particles have been synthesized and characterised to match the size of vasculature found in tumours to ensure effective occlusion of the vessels. A literature search showed that the majority of vessels surrounding a tumour were less than 50 µm and therefore polydispersed polystyrene particles with a peak size of 50 µm have been synthesised. The embolic particles contain 5-8 nm amorphous tantalum oxide nanoparticles which provide X-ray contrast. Embolic particles containing up to 9.4 wt% tantalum oxide were prepared and showed significant contrast compared to the undoped polystyrene particles. The X-ray contrast of the embolic particles was shown to be linear (R(2) = 0.9) with respect to the concentration of incorporated tantalum nanoparticles. A model was developed which showed that seventy-five 50 µm embolic particles containing 10% tantalum oxide could provide the same contrast as 5 cm of bone. Therefore, the synthesized particles would provide sufficient X-ray contrast to enable visualisation within a tumour.