In vivo study of an injectable poly(acrylonitrile)-based hydrogel paste as a bulking agent for the treatment of urinary incontinence
Urinary incontinence can be treated by endoscopic injection of bulking agents, however, no optimal therapeutic effect has been achieved upon this treatment yet. In the present study, the development of a injectable poly(acrylonitrile) hydrogel paste is described, and its efficacy and histological behavior, once injected into the submucosal space of the minipig bladder, are evaluated. A device was developed to mix poly(acrylonitrile) hydrogel powder with glycerin, used as carrier, prior to injection into the submucosal space of the bladder. Several paste deposits, depending on the size of the bladder, were injected per animal. The implants were harvested at days 7, 14, 21, 28, 84 and 168 and analyzed morphologically and by histology. The persistence of the implants was demonstrated. However, at later time points the implants were split up and surrounded by granulomatous tissue, which was gradually replaced by histiocytes and adipocytes. Transitory focal urothelial metaplasia was observed only at day 7 and moderate foreign body reaction was detected predominantly between the second and fifth week. This study demonstrated the feasibility to develop an injectable paste of poly(acrylonitrile) hydrogel thought to provide the expected bulking effect, necessary for the treatment of urinary incontinence.