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Volume 22, Number 4, 2017

Biodegradable seeds of holmium don’t change neurological function after implant in brain of rats

Mirla Fiuza Diniz, Diogo Milioli Ferreira, Wanderson Geraldo de Lima, Maria Lucia Pedrosa, Marcelo Eustáquio Silva, Stanley de Almeida Araujo, Kinulpe Honorato Sampaio, Tarcisio Passos Ribeiro de Campos, Savio Lana Siqueira



To evaluate the surgical procedure and parenchymal abnormalities related to implantation of ceramic seeds with holmium-165 in rats’ brain.


An effective method of cancer treatment is brachytherapy in which radioactive seeds are implanted in the tumor, generating a high local dose of ionizing radiation that can eliminate tumor cells while protecting the surrounding healthy tissue. Biodegradable Ho166-ceramic-seeds have been addressed recently.

Methods and materials

The experiments in this study were approved by the Ethics Committee on Animal Use at the Federal University of Ouro Preto, protocol number 2012/034. Twenty-one adult Fischer rats were divided into Naive Group, Sham Group and Group for seed implants (ISH). Surgical procedures for implantation of biodegradable seeds were done and 30 days after the implant radiographic examination and biopsy of the brain were performed. Neurological assays were also accomplished to exclude any injury resulting from either surgery or implantation of the seeds.


Radiographic examination confirmed the location of the seeds in the brain. Neurological assays showed animals with regular spontaneous activity. The histological analysis showed an increase of inflammatory cells in the brain of the ISH group. Electron microscopy evidenced cytoplasmic organelles to be unchanged. Biochemical analyzes indicate there was neither oxidative stress nor oxidative damage in the ISH brain. CAT activity showed no difference between the groups as well as lipid peroxidation measured by TBARS.


The analysis of the data pointed out that the performed procedure is safe as no animal showed alterations of the neurological parameters and the seeds did not promote histological architectural changes in the brain tissue.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2017; 22(4) : 319-326

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