Drug distribution in enteric microparticles

Nilkumhang, Suchada, Albed Alhnan, Mohamed, McConnell, Emma L. and Basit, Abdul W. (2009) Drug distribution in enteric microparticles. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 379 (1). pp. 1-8. ISSN 03785173

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2009.05.066


The aim of this study was to assess the distribution of three fluorescent drug or drug-like molecules in enteric microparticles. Microparticles were prepared using the pH-responsive methylmethacrylate polymer Eudragit L by an emulsion solvent evaporation process. In the process drug and polymer are dissolved in ethanol, and dispersed in a liquid paraffin external phase using sorbitan sesquioleate as stabiliser. The incorporation and distribution of riboflavin, dipyridamole and acridine orange into these microparticles were investigated using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). The influence of the physicochemical properties of the molecules (solubility in the inner phase, partition coefficient [ethanol/paraffin]) on the distribution, encapsulation efficiency and pH-responsive dissolution behaviour of the microparticles were examined. The drug that tended to partition in ethanol rather than liquid paraffin (riboflavin) was efficiently encapsulated and evenly distributed. In contrast, compounds which partitioned in favour of the liquid paraffin localised towards the surface of the microparticles and exhibited lower encapsulation efficiency (dipyridamole and acridine orange). All three sets of drug-loaded microparticles showed a limited release in acid (<10% release); drug distribution appeared to have a minimum effect on drug release. This microparticle technology has the potential to provide effective enteric drug release with a wide variety of molecules.

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