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This paper describes the formulation of a biodegradable microparticulate drug delivery system containing clodronate, a bisphosphonate intended for the treatment of bone diseases. Microspheres were prepared with several poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) copolymers of various molecular weights and molar compositions and 1 poly(D,L-lactide) (PDLLA) homopolymer by a water-in-oil-in-water (w/o/w) double emulsion solvent evaporation procedure. Critical process parameters and formulation variables (ie, addition of stabilizing agents) were evaluated for their effect on drug encapsulation efficiency and clodronate release rate from microparticles Well-formed clodronate-loaded microspheres were obtained for all polymers by selecting suitable process parameters (inner water/oil volume ratio 116, temperature-raising rate in the solvent evaporation step 1°C/min, 2% wt/vol NaCl in the external aqueous phase). Good yields were obtained in all batches of clodronate microspheres (above 60%); drug encapsulation efficiencies ranged between 49% and 75% depending on the polymer used. Clodronate release from all copolymer microspheres was completed in about 48 hours, while those from PDLLA microspheres required about 20 days. The change of microsphere composition by adding a surfactant such as Span 20 or a viscosing agent such as carboxymethylcellulose extended the long-term release up to 3 months. Clodronate was successfully entrapped in PLGA and PDLLA microspheres, and drug release could be modulated from 48 hours up to 3 months by suitable selection of polymer, composition, additives, and manufacturing conditions.