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Formation of methotrexate-PLLA-PEG-PLLA composite microspheres by microencapsulation through a process of suspension-enhanced dispersion by supercritical CO2

Authors Chen A, Wang G, Wang S, Li Li, Liu Y, Zhao C

Received 5 April 2012

Accepted for publication 17 May 2012

Published 18 June 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 3013—3022


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Ai-Zheng Chen,1,2 Guang-Ya Wang,1 Shi-Bin Wang,1,2 Li Li,1 Yuan-Gang Liu,1,2 Chen Zhao1

1College of Chemical Engineering, 2Institute of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Institute of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Huaqiao University, Xiamen 361021, China

Background: The aim of this study was to improve the drug loading, encapsulation efficiency, and sustained-release properties of supercritical CO2-based drug-loaded polymer carriers via a process of suspension-enhanced dispersion by supercritical CO2 (SpEDS), which is an advanced version of solution-enhanced dispersion by supercritical CO2 (SEDS).
Methods: Methotrexate nanoparticles were successfully microencapsulated into poly (L-lactide)-poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(L-lactide) (PLLA-PEG-PLLA) by SpEDS. Methotrexate nanoparticles were first prepared by SEDS, then suspended in PLLA-PEG-PLLA solution, and finally microencapsulated into PLLA-PEG-PLLA via SpEDS, where an "injector" was utilized in the suspension delivery system.
Results: After microencapsulation, the composite methotrexate (MTX)-PLLA-PEG-PLLA microspheres obtained had a mean particle size of 545 nm, drug loading of 13.7%, and an encapsulation efficiency of 39.2%. After an initial burst release, with around 65% of the total methotrexate being released in the first 3 hours, the MTX-PLLA-PEG-PLLA microspheres released methotrexate in a sustained manner, with 85% of the total methotrexate dose released within 23 hours and nearly 100% within 144 hours.
Conclusion: Compared with a parallel study of the coprecipitation process, microencapsulation using SpEDS offered greater potential to manufacture drug-loaded polymer microspheres for a drug delivery system.

Keywords: drug loading, encapsulation efficiency, methotrexate, nanoparticles, poly(L-lactide), supercritical CO2 sustained release

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