Convection Enhanced Delivery: A Comparison of infusion characteristics in ex vivo and in vivo non-human primate brain tissue

Gurwattan Miranpuri, Angelica Hinchman, Anyi Wang, Dominic Schomberg, Ken Kubota, Martin Brady, Raghu Raghavan, Kevin Bruner, Ethan Brodsky, Walter Block, Ben Grabow, Jim Raschke, Andrew Alexander, Chris Ross, Heather Simmons, Karl Sillay
Annals of Neurosciences 2013, 20 (3): 108-14

BACKGROUND: Convection enhanced delivery (CED) is emerging as a promising infusion toolto facilitate delivery of therapeutic agents into the brain via mechanically controlled pumps. Infusion protocols and catheter design have an important impact on delivery. CED is a valid alternative for systemic administration of agents in clinical trials for cell and gene therapies. Where gel and ex vivo models are not sufficient in modeling the disease, in vivo models allow researchers to better understand the underlying mechanisms of neuron degeneration, which is helpful in finding novel approaches to control the process or reverse the progression. Determining the risks, benefits, and efficacy of new gene therapies introduced via CED will pave a way to enter human clinical trial.

PURPOSE: The objective of this study is to compare volume distribution (Vd)/ volume infused (Vi) ratios and backflow measurements following CED infusions in ex vivo versus in vivo non-human primate brain tissue, based on infusion protocols developed in vitro.

METHODS: In ex vivo infusions, the first brain received 2 infusions using a balloon catheter at rates of 1 μL/min and 2 μL/min for 30 minutes. The second and third brains received infusions using a valve-tip (VT) catheter at 1 μL/min for 30 minutes. The fourth brain received a total of 45 μL infused at a rate of 1 μL/min for 15 minutes followed by 2 μL/min for 15 minutes. Imaging was performed (SPGR FA34) every 3 minutes. In the in vivo group, 4 subjects received a total of 8 infusions of 50 μL. Subjects 1 and 2 received infusions at 1.0 μL/min using a VT catheter in the left hemisphere and a smart-flow (SF) catheter in the right hemisphere. Subjects 3 and 4 each received 1 infusion in the left and right hemisphere at 1.0 μL/min.

RESULTS: MRI calculations of Vd/Vi did not significantly differ from those obtained on post-mortem pathology. The mean measured Vd/Vi of in vivo (5.23 + /-1.67) compared to ex vivo (2.17 + /-1.39) demonstrated a significantly larger Vd/Vi for in vivo by 2.4 times (p = 0.0017).

CONCLUSION: We detected higher ratios in the in vivo subjects than in ex vivo. This difference could be explained by the extra cellular space volume fraction. Studies evaluating backflow and morphology use in vivo tissue as a medium are recommended. Further investigation is warranted to evaluate the role blood pressure and heart rate may play in human CED clinical trials.

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