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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2002 September; 3(3): 72–76.
Published online 2015 February 19. doi:  10.1007/BF02830623
PMCID: PMC2784054

Preparation of gelatin microbeads with a narrow size distribution using microchannel emulsification

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to prepare monodisperse gelatin microcapsules containing an active agent using microchannel (MC) emulsification, a novel technique for preparing water-in-oil (W/O) and oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions. As the first step in applying MC emulsification to the preparation of monodisperse gelatin microcapsules, simple gelatin microbeads were prepared using this technique. A W/O emulsion with a narrow size distribution containing gelatin in the aqueous phase was created as follows. First, the aqueous disperse phase was fed into the continuous phase through the MCs at 40°C (operating pressure: 3.9 kPa). The emulsion droplets had an average particle diameter of 40.7 μm and a relative standard deviation of 5.1%. The temperature of the collected emulsion was reduced and maintained at 25°C overnight. The gelatin microbeads had a smooth surface after overnight gelation; the average particle diameter was calculated to be 31.6 μm, and the relative standard deviation, 7.3%. The temperature was then lowered to 5°C by rapid air cooling and finally dried. The gelatin beads were dried and could be resuspended well in iso-octane. The had an average particle diameter of 15.6 μm, and a relative standard deviation of 5.9%. Using MC emulsification, we were able to prepare gelatin microbeads with a narrow size distribution. Since this emulsification technique requires only a low-energy input, it may create desirable experimental conditions for microencapsulation of unstable substances such as peptides and proteins. This method is promising for making monodisperse microbeads.

Keywords: gelatin, beads, microcapsule, MC emulsification, narrow size distribution

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Selected References

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