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

Influence of surface properties at biodegradable microsphere surfaces: effects on plasma protein adsorption and phagocytosis.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this work was to determine plasma protein adsorption and macrophage phagocytosis of biodegradable polyanhydride, polylactic acid and polylactic-co-glycolic acid microspheres prepared by both spray-drying and solvent evaporation techniques. METHODS: Microspheres were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), confocal laser microscopy, particle size distribution and zeta (zeta) potential determination. Plasma protein adsorption onto the microspheres was determined using a fluoroaldehyde reagent. Phagocytosis was evaluated by incubating microspheres containing the angiotensin II antagonist, L-158,809, with the macrophages in the presence or absence of the phagocytosis inhibitor cythochalasin D. The extent of phagocytosis was established by fluorescence determination of L-158,809 and by optical microscopy. The effect of amphiphilic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) derivatives on phagocytosis was determined using PEG-distearate incorporated into the microspheres. RESULTS: The average diameter of the microspheres, which depended on the polymer and the initial formulation, ranged from 0.9 to 3.2 micrometers. Zeta potential studies showed strong negative values irrespective of the polymer used for the spray-dried formulations. The zeta potential was masked by the incorporation of PEG 400- or PEG 1,400-distearate in the formulation. Confocal laser microscopy showed a homogenous dispersion of PEG (measured as PEG-fluorescein) in the microspheres. Protein adsorption was not observed for any of the microsphere formulations following incubation with bovine serum. Incubation of microspheres with murine macrophages showed that PEG-distearate inhibited phagocytosis at appropriate levels (0.1% w/w). Higher levels > 1% w/w of PEG-distearate) resulted in enhanced association with macrophages, despite the presence of the phagocytosis inhibitor cytochalasin D, indicating fusion between the microspheres and the plasma membrane. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that spray-dried PEG-containing microspheres can be manufactured and that an appropriate concentration of this excipient in microspheres results in decreased phagocytosis.[1]


  1. Influence of surface properties at biodegradable microsphere surfaces: effects on plasma protein adsorption and phagocytosis. Lacasse, F.X., Filion, M.C., Phillips, N.C., Escher, E., McMullen, J.N., Hildgen, P. Pharm. Res. (1998) [Pubmed]
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