Properties of polidocanol foam in view of its use in sclerotherapy

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Abstract

Foam sclerotherapy is a widely used method to treat varicose veins disease. It is easy to use and apply, affordable, and has high efficiency that depends on foam stability upon injection. Since sclerotherapy is usually applied in a medical doctor’s office, one of the most employed methods to generate foam is based on the Tessari technique which uses pumping cycles of liquid and air in-and-out of a double syringe system. Finally, the produced foam exits through a small orifice (˜2 mm) at the output of a three-way valve. The present work shows results regarding the factors that may influence foam stability (liquid to air ratio, type of connector, syringe diameter, number of pumping cycles, etc.) of a commonly used sclerosing agent (polidocanol). Furthermore, an effort is made to evaluate the effect of adding different substances on the stability of polidocanol foams (0.5% w/w) by altering the surface tension or/and the bulk and interfacial rheological properties of the fluids. It is shown that adding small concentrations of nonionic surfactants can increase foam stability with just a very small variation of the mean bubbles size.

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