Absorbable hydrodissection fluids

Project Overview

A common technique to facilitate a percutaneous thermal ablation is hydrodissection. During hydrodissection, fluid is injected between the target ablation site and any surrounding tissues which require thermal protection. The hydrodissection fluid creates a physical, thermal and, in the case of non-ionic fluids, electrical barrier to protect such vulnerable tissues. Current fluids are relatively non-viscous, prone to migration in the abdominal cavity, and readily absorbed by the body. As a result, large fluid volumes are often required (~1 L) to create an effective barrier. Even with large volumes, the fluid barrier can degrade substantially during a procedure.

Last semester, a 19.0% Poloxamer 407 (aka PF127) solution in DI water was formulated and tested to prevent fluid migration and barrier degradation while retaining the useful characteristics of currently used hydrodissection fluids. Poloxamer 407 is a thermoreversible gel that could be injected as a fluid, then form a gel in vivo at body temperature. This does solve the main problem with other hydrodissection fluids; however, it also presents new problems to solve. The main issue with PF127 is that it is too viscous of a fluid to readily inject through a small gauge of needle. In addition, initial animal testing has shown that too much motion between the ablation site and surrounding tissue can inhibit and even prevent gelation in vivo.

The objective of this semesterís project is to improve our fluid, probably through a series of additives to our original solution and to quantify how different additives affect our Poloxamer solution.


Team picture

Team members from left to right: Anthony Sprangers, Alexander Johnson, Patrick Cassidy, Sean Heyrman.

Last year's design

Alex holding last semesters design (19.0 %w/w Poloxamer 407 solution) post gelation. This fluid is being optimized this semester for lower viscosity and increased bioadhesion.


Project Files

Contact Information

Team Members

  • Patrick Cassidy - Team Leader
  • Sean Heyrman - Communicator
  • Anthony Sprangers - BSAC
  • Alexander Johnson - BWIG

Advisor and Client

  • John Puccinelli - Advisor
  • Dr. Chris Brace - Client