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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Microsphere size, precipitation kinetics and drug distribution control drug release from biodegradable polyanhydride microspheres.

A thorough understanding of the factors affecting drug release mechanisms from surface-erodible polymer devices is critical to the design of optimal delivery systems. Poly(sebacic anhydride) (PSA) microspheres were loaded with three model drug compounds (rhodamine B, p-nitroaniline and piroxicam) with a range of polarities (water solubilities). The drug release profiles from monodisperse particles of three different sizes were compared to release from polydisperse microspheres. Each of the model drugs exhibited different release mechanisms. Drug distribution within the polymer was investigated by laser scanning confocal microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Rhodamine, the most hydrophilic compound investigated, was localized strongly toward the microsphere surface, while the much more hydrophobic compound, piroxicam, distributed more evenly. Furthermore, all three compounds were most uniformly distributed in the smallest microspheres, most likely due to the competing effects of drug diffusion out of the nascent polymer droplets and the precipitation of polymer upon solvent extraction, which effectively "traps" the drug in the polymer matrix. The differing drug distributions were manifested in the drug release profiles. Rhodamine was released very quickly independent of microsphere size. Thus, extended release profiles may not be obtainable if the drug strongly redistributes in the microspheres. The release of p-nitroaniline was more prolonged, but still showed little dependence on microsphere size. Hence, when water-soluble drugs are encapsulated with hydrophobic polymers, it may be difficult to tailor release profiles by controlling microsphere size. The piroxicam-loaded microspheres exhibit the most interesting release profiles, showing that release duration can be increased by decreasing microsphere size, resulting in a more uniform drug distribution.[1]


  1. Microsphere size, precipitation kinetics and drug distribution control drug release from biodegradable polyanhydride microspheres. Berkland, C., Kipper, M.J., Narasimhan, B., Kim, K.K., Pack, D.W. Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society. (2004) [Pubmed]
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