Effect of fibrous capsule formation on doxorubicin distribution in radiofrequency ablated rat livers

Elvin Blanco, Feng Qian, Brent Weinberg, Nicholas Stowe, James M. Anderson, Jinming Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In this study, we report the histological findings of a combined therapy using radiofrequency ablation and intratumoral drug delivery in rat livers, with special attention to wound-healing processes and their effects on drug transport in post-ablated tissue. Doxorubicin-loaded millirods were implanted in rat livers that had undergone medial lobe ablation. Millirods and liver samples were retrieved upon animal sacrifice at time points ranging from 1 h to 8 days. Results demonstrate a clearly defined area of coagulative necrosis within the ablation boundary. The wound-healing response, complete with the appearance of inflammatory cells, neovascularization, and the formation of a fibrous capsule, was also observed. At the 8-day time point, fluorescence imaging analysis showed a higher concentration of doxorubicin localized within the ablation region, with its distribution hampered primarily by fibrous capsule formation at the boundary. Given the variant nature of ablated liver, a mathematical model devised previously by our laboratory describes the data well up to 4 days, but loses reliability at 8 days. These results provide useful mechanistic insights into the wound-healing response after radiofrequency ablation and polymer millirod implantation, as well as the impact this natural corollary has on drug distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-406
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004


  • Doxorubicin transport
  • Intratumoral drug delivery
  • Polymer implants
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Wound-healing response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


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