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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2000 September; 1(3): 10–19.
Published online 2000 June 20. doi:  10.1208/pt010317
PMCID: PMC2750345

Structural analysis of microparticles by confocal laser scanning microscopy


This study demonstrates the potential of conforcal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) as a characterization tool for different types of microparticles. Microparticles were prepared by various methods including complex coacervation, spray drying, double emulsion solvent evaporation technique, and ionotropic gelation. Protein drugs and particle wall polymers were covalently labeled with a fluorescent marker prior to particle preparation, while low molecular weight drugs were labeled by mixing with a fluorescent marker of similar solubility properties. As was demonstrated in several examples, CLSM allowed visualization of the polymeric particle wall composition and detection of heterogeneous polymer distribution or changes in polymer matrix composition under the influence of the drug. Furthermore, CLSM provides a method for three-dimensional reconstruction and image analysis of the microparticles by imaging several coplanar sections throughout the object. In conclusion, CLSM allows the inspection of internal particle structures without prior sample destruction. It can be used to localize the encapsulated compounds and to detect special structural details of the particle wall composition.

Keywords: Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), Microencapsulation, Microparticles, Polymer distribution

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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