Mechanisms of burst release from pH-responsive polymeric microparticles.
Rizi, K., Green, R. J., Khutoryanskaya, O., Donaldson, M. and Williams, A. C. (2011) Mechanisms of burst release from pH-responsive polymeric microparticles. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 63 (9). pp. 1141-1155. ISSN 0022-3573
To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.2042-7158.2011.01322.x
Microencapsulation of drugs into preformed polymers is commonly achieved through solvent evaporation techniques or spray drying. We compared these encapsulation methods in terms of controlled drug release properties of the prepared microparticles and investigated the underlying mechanisms responsible for the “burst release” effect. Using two different pH-responsive polymers with a dissolution threshold of pH 6 (Eudragit L100 and AQOAT AS-MG), hydrocortisone, a model hydrophobic drug, was incorporated into microparticles below and above its solubility within the polymer matrix. Although, spray drying is an attractive approach due to rapid particle production and relatively low solvent waste, the oil-in-oil microencapsulation method is superior in terms of controlled drug release properties from the microparticles. Slow solvent evaporation during the oil-in-oil emulsification process allows adequate time for drug and polymer redistribution in the microparticles and reduces uncontrolled drug burst release. Electron microscopy showed that this slower manufacturing procedure generated non-porous particles whereas thermal analysis and X-ray diffractometry showed that drug loading above the solubility limit of the drug in the polymer generated excess crystalline drug on the surface of the particles. Raman spectral mapping illustrated that drug was homogeneously distributed as a solid solution in the particles when loaded below saturation in the polymer with consequently minimal burst release.