Biocompatibility of Dextran
The clinical use of Dextrans over the past 50 years provides impressive proof of their safety and quality. Most of the safety studies have been related to parenterally administered Dextran solutions in the molecular weight range 40,000 (Dextran 40) to 70,000 (Dextran 70). The intravenous mean lethal dose of Dextran 70 fraction is 55 g/kg bodyweight in mice, 18 g/kg bodyweight in rabbits, and 10 g/kg bodyweight in dogs.
Dextran may be ingested orally and is well tolerated. The ingestion of Dextran is followed by a rapid increase in blood sugar and liver glycogen and is thus digestible.
Many other applications of Dextran in medicine have appeared. Dextran is an ingredient of solutions for ophthalmic use, for intrauterine examinations, and is also used in creams and ointments. It may therefore be concluded that Dextran has an excellent record of biocompatibility.