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1.  A Short Term Quality Control Tool for Biodegradable Microspheres 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2014;15(3):530-541.
Accelerated in vitro release testing methodology has been developed as an indicator of product performance to be used as a discriminatory quality control (QC) technique for the release of clinical and commercial batches of biodegradable microspheres. While product performance of biodegradable microspheres can be verified by in vivo and/or in vitro experiments, such evaluation can be particularly challenging because of slow polymer degradation, resulting in extended study times, labor, and expense. Three batches of Leuprolide poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres having varying morphology (process variants having different particle size and specific surface area) were manufactured by the solvent extraction/evaporation technique. Tests involving in vitro release, polymer degradation and hydration of the microspheres were performed on the three batches at 55°C. In vitro peptide release at 55°C was analyzed using a previously derived modification of the Weibull function termed the modified Weibull equation (MWE). Experimental observations and data analysis confirm excellent reproducibility studies within and between batches of the microsphere formulations demonstrating the predictability of the accelerated experiments at 55°C. The accelerated test method was also successfully able to distinguish the in vitro product performance between the three batches having varying morphology (process variants), indicating that it is a suitable QC tool to discriminate product or process variants in clinical or commercial batches of microspheres. Additionally, data analysis utilized the MWE to further quantify the differences obtained from the accelerated in vitro product performance test between process variants, thereby enhancing the discriminatory power of the accelerated methodology at 55°C.
PMCID: PMC4037492  PMID: 24519488
accelerated in vitro release; biodegradable microspheres; modified Weibull equation (MWE); QC tool
2.  Development of Risperidone PLGA Microspheres 
Journal of Drug Delivery  2014;2014:620464.
The aim of this study was to design and evaluate biodegradable PLGA microspheres for sustained delivery of Risperidone, with an eventual goal of avoiding combination therapy for the treatment of schizophrenia. Two PLGA copolymers (50 : 50 and 75 : 25) were used to prepare four microsphere formulations of Risperidone. The microspheres were characterized by several in vitro techniques. In vivo studies in male Sprague-Dawley rats at 20 and 40 mg/kg doses revealed that all formulations exhibited an initial burst followed by sustained release of the active moiety. Additionally, formulations prepared with 50 : 50 PLGA had a shorter duration of action and lower cumulative AUC levels than the 75 : 25 PLGA microspheres. A simulation of multiple dosing at weekly or 15-day regimen revealed pulsatile behavior for all formulations with steady state being achieved by the second dose. Overall, the clinical use of Formulations A, B, C, or D will eliminate the need for combination oral therapy and reduce time to achieve steady state, with a smaller washout period upon cessation of therapy. Results of this study prove the suitability of using PLGA copolymers of varying composition and molecular weight to develop sustained release formulations that can tailor in vivo behavior and enhance pharmacological effectiveness of the drug.
PMCID: PMC3927762  PMID: 24616812
3.  IVIVC from Long Acting Olanzapine Microspheres 
In this study, four PLGA microsphere formulations of Olanzapine were characterized on the basis of their in vitro behavior at 37°C, using a dialysis based method, with the goal of obtaining an IVIVC. In vivo profiles were determined by deconvolution (Nelson-Wagner method) and using fractional AUC. The in vitro and in vivo release profiles exhibited the same rank order of drug release. Further, in vivo profiles obtained with both approaches were nearly superimposable, suggesting that fractional AUC could be used as an alternative to the Nelson-Wagner method. A comparison of drug release profiles for the four formulations revealed that the in vitro profile lagged slightly behind in vivo release, but the results were not statistically significant (P < 0.0001). Using the four formulations that exhibited different release rates, a Level A IVIVC was established using the deconvolution and fractional AUC approaches. A nearly 1 : 1 correlation (R2 > 0.96) between in vitro release and in vivo measurements confirmed the excellent relationship between in vitro drug release and the amount of drug absorbed in vivo. The results of this study suggest that proper selection of an in vitro method will greatly aid in establishing a Level A IVIVC for long acting injectables.
PMCID: PMC3918854  PMID: 24578707
4.  Accelerated Polymer Biodegradation of Risperidone Poly(d, l-Lactide-Co-Glycolide) Microspheres 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2012;13(4):1465-1472.
The influence of a tertiary amine, namely risperidone (pKa = 7.9) on the degradation of poly(d, l lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) microspheres was elucidated. Risperidone and blank microspheres were fabricated at two lactide/glycolide ratios, 65:35 and 85:15. The microspheres were characterized for drug loading by high-performance liquid chromatography, particle size by laser diffractometry, and surface morphology by scanning electron microscopy. Polymer degradation studies were carried out with drug-loaded microspheres and blank microspheres in presence of free risperidone in 0.02 M PBS containing 0.02% Tween®80 at 37°C. Molecular weight was monitored by gel permeation chromatography. Risperidone and blank microspheres had similar size distribution and were spherical with a relatively nonporous smooth surface. The presence of risperidone within the microspheres enhanced the hydrolytic degradation in both polymeric matrices with faster degradation occurring in 65:35 PLGA. The molecular weight decreased according to pseudo-first-order kinetics for all the formulations. During the degradation study, the surface morphology of drug-loaded microspheres was affected by the presence of risperidone and resulted in shriveled microspheres in which there appeared to be an intrabatch variation with the larger microspheres being less shriveled than the smaller ones. When blank microspheres were incubated in free risperidone solutions, a concentration-dependent effect on the development of surface porosity could be observed. Risperidone accelerates the hydrolytic degradation of PLGA, presumably within the microenvironment of the drug-loaded particles, and this phenomenon must be taken into consideration in designing PLGA dosage forms of tertiary amine drugs.
PMCID: PMC3513476  PMID: 23090111
mass loss; microencapsulation; PLGA microspheres; polymer degradation; risperidone; tertiary amine drug
5.  Sustained-Release Delivery of Octreotide from Biodegradable Polymeric Microspheres 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2011;12(4):1293-1301.
The study reports on the drug release behavior of a potent synthetic somatostatin analogue, octreotide acetate, from biocompatible and biodegradable microspheres composed of poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) following a single intramuscular depot injection. The serum octreotide levels of three Oakwood Laboratories formulations and one Sandostatin LAR® formulation were compared. Three formulations of octreotide acetate-loaded PLGA microspheres were prepared by a solvent extraction and evaporation procedure using PLGA polymers with different molecular weights. The in vivo drug release study was conducted in male Sprague–Dawley rats. Blood samples were taken at predetermined time points for up to 70 days. Drug serum concentrations were quantified using a radioimmunoassay procedure consisting of radiolabeled octreotide. The three octreotide PLGA microsphere formulations and Sandostatin LAR® all showed a two-phase drug release profile (i.e., bimodal). The peak serum drug concentration of octreotide was reached in 30 min for all formulations followed by a decline after 6 h. Following this initial burst and decline, a second-release phase occurred after 3 days. This second-release phase exhibited sustained-release behavior, as the drug serum levels were discernible between days 7 and 42. Using pharmacokinetic computer simulations, it was estimated that the steady-state octreotide serum drug levels would be predicted to fall in the range of 40–130 pg/10 μL and 20–100 pg/10 μL following repeat dosing of the Oakwood formulations and Sandostatin LAR® every 28 days and every 42 days at a dose of 3 mg/rat, respectively.
PMCID: PMC3225556  PMID: 21948321
in vivo drug release; pharmacokinetic simulation; PLGA microspheres; polypeptide/protein drug delivery; single depot injection
6.  Formulation and Release Behavior of Doxycycline–Alginate Hydrogel Microparticles Embedded into Pluronic F127 Thermogels as a Potential New Vehicle for Doxycycline Intradermal Sustained Delivery 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2010;11(1):212-220.
The aim of this work was the formulation and characterization of alginate (ALG)–doxycycline (DOX) hydrogel microparticles (MPs) embedded into Pluronic F127 thermogel for DOX intradermal sustained delivery. ALG–DOX MPs were formed by adding a solution of the drug into a 1.5% polymer solution while stirring. The MPs were cross-linked by dispersion into a 1.2% CaCl2 solution. Free MPs were characterized in terms of size, drug content, and release behavior by HPLC and UV–vis. DOX and hydrogel MPs were embedded into PF127, PF127-HPMC, and PF127-Methocel thermogels. The thermogels were characterized in terms of gelling time, morphology, and release behavior. A target release period of 4–7 days was considered optimal. The hydrogel MPs were about 20 µm in size with 90% of the population <59 µm. Drug content was about 35% (w/w). DOX released rapidly from the MPs, 90% within 2 days. An expected faster release was observed for free DOX from the thermogels with 80–90% of drug released after 3.5–4 h even in the presence of 1% HPMC or Methocel. The release was sustained after embedding the MPs into PF127 and PF127-HPMC thermogels. In particular, the PF127-HPMC thermogel showed an almost linear release, reaching 80% after 3 days and 90% up to 6 days. Although a further characterization and formulation assessment is required to optimize MP characteristics, ALG/DOX-loaded hydrogel MPs, when embedded into a PF127-HPMC thermogel, show a potential for achieving a 7-day sustained release formulation for DOX intradermal delivery.
PMCID: PMC2850495  PMID: 20127210
doxycycline; hydrogel microparticles; sustained release; thermogel
7.  Materials for Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms: Molecular Pharmaceutics and Controlled Release Drug Delivery Aspects 
Controlled release delivery is available for many routes of administration and offers many advantages (as microparticles and nanoparticles) over immediate release delivery. These advantages include reduced dosing frequency, better therapeutic control, fewer side effects, and, consequently, these dosage forms are well accepted by patients. Advances in polymer material science, particle engineering design, manufacture, and nanotechnology have led the way to the introduction of several marketed controlled release products and several more are in pre-clinical and clinical development.
PMCID: PMC2956096  PMID: 20957095
polymers; copolymers; biomaterials; biodegradable; microparticle; nanoparticle; pharmaceutical dosage forms; particle engineering design; manufacture
8.  AAPS PharmSciTech volume 8, issue 4 — Editorial 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2007;8(4):1.
PMCID: PMC2750666  PMID: 17408209
10.  Summary of AAPS Italian University Network Student Chapter scientific program on pharmaceutical technology and drug delivery 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2007;8(2):E103.
PMCID: PMC2750356  PMID: 18181524
Nanotechnology; drug delivery; AItUN; student chapter
11.  Summary of University of Kentucky Pharmaceutical Sciences AAPS Student Chapter 2007 Postgraduate Conference 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2007;8(2):E104.
PMCID: PMC2750357  PMID: 18181525
Drug discovery; UK student chapter
12.  Development of a peptide-containing chewing gum as a sustained release antiplaque antimicrobial delivery system 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2007;8(1):E177-E185.
The objective of this study was to characterize the stability of KSL-W, an antimicrobial decapeptide shown to inhibit the growth of oral bacterial strains associated with caries development and plaque formation, and its potential as an antiplaque agent in a chewing gum formulation. KSL-W formulations with or without the commercial antibacterial agent cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) were prepared. The release of KSL-W from the gums was assessed in vitro using a chewing gum apparatus and in vivo by a chew-out method. A reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography method was developed for assaying KSL-W. Raw material stability and temperature and pH effects on the stability of KSL-W solutions and interactions of KSL-W with tooth-like material, hydroxyapatite discs, were investigated.
KSL-W was most stable in acidic aqueous solutions and underwent rapid hydrolysis in base. It was stable to enzymatic degradation in human saliva for 1 hour but was degraded by pancreatic serine proteases. KSL-W readily adsorbed to hydroxyapatite, suggesting that it will also adsorb to the teeth when delivered to the oral cavity. The inclusion of CPC caused a large increase in the rate and extent of KSL-W released from the gums. The gum formulations displayed promising in vitro/ in vivo release profiles, wherein as much as 90% of the KSL-W was released in a sustained manner within 30 minutes in vivo. These results suggest that KSL-W possesses the stability, adsorption, and release characteristics necessary for local delivery to the oral cavity in a chewing gum formulation, there-by serving as a novel antiplaque agent.
PMCID: PMC2750437  PMID: 17408225
KSL-W; chewing gum; sustained release; cetylpyridinium chloride; antiplaque; antimicrobial; peptide; stability
14.  AAPS PharmSciTech volume 6, issue 4—Editorial 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2005;6(4):E552.
PMCID: PMC2750602
15.  A model-dependent approach to correlate accelerated with real-time release from biodegradable microspheres 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2005;6(4):E553-E564.
The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of applying accelerated in vitro release testing to correlate or predict long-term in vitro release of leuprolide poly(lactideco-glycolide) microspheres. Peptide release was studied using a dialysis technique at 37°C and at elevated temperatures (50°C–60°C) in 0.1 M phosphate buffered saline (PBS) pH 7.4 and 0.1 M acetate buffer pH 4.0. The data were analyzed using a modification, of the Weibull equation. Peptide release was temperature dependent and complete within 30 days at 37°C and 3 to 5 days at the elevated temperatures. In vitro release profiles at the elevated temperatures correlated well with release at 37°C. The shapes of the release profiles at all temperatures were similar. Using the modified Weibull equation, an increase in temperature was characterized by an increase in the model parameter, α, a scaling factor for the apparent rate constant. Complete release at 37°C was shortened from ∼30 days to 5 days at 50°C, 3.5 days at 55°C, 2.25 days at 60°C in PBS pH 7.4, and 3 days at 50°C in acetate buffer pH 4.0. Values for the model parameter β indicated that the shape of the release profiles at 55°C in PBS pH 7.4 (2.740) and 50°C in 0.1 M acetate buffer pH 4.0 (2.711) were similar to that at 37°C (2.577). The Ea for hydration and erosion were determined to be 42.3 and 19.4 kcal/mol, respectively. Polymer degradation was also temperature dependent and had an Ea of 31.6 kcal/mol. Short-term in vitro release studies offer the possibility of correlation with long-term release, thereby reducing the time and expense associated with longterm studies. Accelerated release methodology could be useful in the prediction of long-term release from extended release microsphere dosage forms and may serve as a quality control tool for the release of clinical or commercial batches.
PMCID: PMC2750603  PMID: 16408857
biodegradable microspheres; accelerated in vitro release; modified Weibull equation; sigmoidal triphasic release
16.  Development of a dialysis in vitro release method for biodegradable microspheres 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2005;6(2):E323-E328.
The purpose of this research was to develop a simple and convenient in vitro release method for biodegradable microspheres using a commercially available dialyzer. A 25 KD MWCO Float-a-Lyzer was used to evaluate peptide diffusion at 37°C and 55°C in different buffers and assess the effect of peptide concentration. In vitro release of Leuprolide from PLGA microspheres, having a 1-month duration of action, was assessed using the dialyzer and compared with the commonly used “sample and separate” method with and without agitation. Peptide diffusion through the dialysis membrane was rapid at 37°C and 55°C in all buffers and was independent of peptide concentration. There was no detectable binding to the membrane under the conditions of the study. In vitro release of Leuprolide from PLGA microspheres was tri-phasic and was complete in 28 days with the dialysis technique. With the sample and separate technique, linear release profiles were obtained with complete release occurring under conditions of agitation. Diffusion through the dialysis membrane was sufficiently rapid to qualify the Float-a-Lyzer for an in vitro release system for microparticulate dosage forms. Membrane characteristics render it useful to study drug release under real-time and accelerated conditions.
PMCID: PMC2750545  PMID: 16353991
biodegradable microspheres; in vitro release methods; dialysis
18.  AAPS PharmSciTech volume 6, issue 1—Editorial 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2005;6(1):E8.
PMCID: PMC2750423
19.  In vivo release kinetics of octreotide acetate from experimental polymeric microsphere formulations using oil/water and oil/oil processes 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2004;5(3):90-99.
The purpose of the present study was to characterize the in vivo release kinetics of octreotide acetate from microsphere formulations designed to minimize peptide acylation and improve drug stability. Microspheres were prepared by a conventional oil/wate (o/w) method or an experimental oil/oil (o/o) dispersion technique. The dosage forms were administered subcutaneously to a rat animal model, and serum samples were analyzed by radioimmunoassay over a 2-month period. An averaged kinetic profile from each treatment group, as a result, was treated with fractional differential equations. The results indicated that poly(l-lactide) microspheres prepared by the o/o dispersion technique provided lower area under the curve (AUC) values during the initial diffusion-controlled release phase, 7.79 ng×d/mL, versus 75.8 ng/sxd/mL for the o/w batch. During the subsequent erosion-controlled release phase, on the other hand, the o/o technique yielded higher AUC values, 123 ng×d/mL, versus 42.2 ng×d/mL for the o/w batch. The differences observed between the 2 techniques were attributed to the site of drug incorporation during the manufacturing process, given that microspheres contain both porous hydrophilic channels and dense hydrophobic matrix regions. An o/o dispersion technique was therefore expected to produce microspheres with lower incorporation in the aqueous channels, which are responsible for diffusion-mediated drug release.
PMCID: PMC2750271  PMID: 15760082
in vivo modeling; octreotide acetate; PLA microspheres; PLGA microspheres; radioimmunoassay
20.  AAPS PharmSciTech volume 4, issue 4—Editorial 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2003;4(4):382.
PMCID: PMC2750641
21.  Preparation and stability of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)ylated octreotide for application to microsphere delivery 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2003;4(4):574-580.
The purpose of this study was to prepare poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)ylated octreotide and investigate the stability against acylation by polyester polymers such as poly(lactic acid) and poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid). Octreotide was modified by reaction with monomethoxy PEG-propionaldehyde (molecular weight 5,000) in the presence of sodium cyanoborohydride. The mono-PEGylated fraction was isolated by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and characterized by matrixassisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Circular dichroism demonstrated no significant secondary structural differences between mono-PEGylated octreotide (mono-PEG-octreotide) and intact octreotide. As a test system for the stability study against acylation reaction, lactic acid (LA) solutions with various concentrations and pH values were prepared with water dilution and subsequent accelerated equilibration at 90°C for 24 hours. Native octreotide was found to be acylated in all the diluted LA solutions with different concentrations (42.5%, 21.3%, and 8.5%, wt/wt) and pH values (2.25, 1.47, and 1.85, respectively). The remaining amounts of intact octreotide continuously decreased to 50% through 30 days of incubation at 37°C. MALDI-TOF MS identified the octreotide to be acylated by LA units. However, acylation reaction of mono-PEG-octreotide in LA solutions was negligible, and the remaining amounts of intact one through 30 days of incubation in LA solutions were also comparable to the initial concentration. These data suggest that mono-PEG-octreotide may prevent the acylation reaction in degrading PLA microspheres and possibly serve as a new source for somatostatin microsphere formulation.
PMCID: PMC2750665  PMID: 15198567
PE Gylation; octreotide; peptide acylation; microsphere; peptide stability
22.  AAPS PharmSciTech update 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2003;4(3):93.
PMCID: PMC2750633
23.  Identification of chemically modified peptide from poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) microspheres under in vitro release conditions 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2003;4(4):392-405.
The purpose of this research was to study the chemical reactivity of a somatostatin analogue octreotide acetate, formulated in microspheres with polymers of varying molecular weight and co-monomer ratio under in vitro testing conditions. Poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and poly(D,L-lactide) (PLA) microspheres were prepared by a solvent extraction/evaporation method. The microspheres were characterized for drug load, impurity content, and particle size. Further, the microspheres were subjected to in vitro release testing in acetate buffer (pH 4.0) and phosphate buffered saline (PBS) (pH 7.2). In acetate buffer, 3 microsphere batches composed of low molecular weight PLGA 50∶50, PLGA 85∶15, and PLA polymers (≤10 kDa) showed 100% release with minimal impurity formation (<10%). The high molecular weight PLGA 50∶50 microspheres (28 kDa) displayed only 70% cumulative release in acetate buffer with significant impurity formation (∼24%). In PBS (pH 7.4), on the other hand, only 50% release was observed with the same low molecular weight batches (PLGA 50∶50, PLGA 85∶15, and PLA) with higher percentages of hydrophobic impurity formation (ie, 40%, 26%, and 10%, respectively). In addition, in PBS, the high molecular weight PLGA 50∶50 microspheres showed only 20% drug release with ∼60% mean impurity content. The chemically modified peptide impurities inside microspheres were structurally confirmed through Fourier transform-mass spectrometry (FT-MS) and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analyses after extraction procedures. The adduct compounds were identified as covalently modified conjugates of octreotide with lactic and glycolic acid monomers within polymeric microspheres. The data suggest that due to steric hindrance factors, polymers with greater lactide content were less amenable to the formation of adduct impurities compared with PLGA 50∶50 copolymers.
PMCID: PMC2750643  PMID: 15198545
somatostatin analogues; octreotide acetate; peptide acylation; peptide stability; poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) microspheres
25.  Preparation and characterization of poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) microspheres for controlled release of human growth hormone 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2003;4(2):147-156.
The purpose of this research was to assess the physicochemical properties of a controlled release formulation of recombinant human growth hormone (rHGH) encapsulated in poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) composite microspheres. rHGH was loaded in poly(acryloyl hydroxyethyl) starch (acHES) microparticles, and then the protein-containing microparticles were encapsulated in the PLGA matrix by a solvent extraction/evaporation method. rHGH-loaded PLGA microspheres were also prepared using mannitol without the starch hydrogel microparticle microspheres for comparison. The detection of secondary structure changes in protein was investigated by using a Fourier Transfer Infrared (FTIR) technique. The composite microspheres were spherical in shape (44.6±2.47 μm), and the PLGA-mannitol microspheres were 39.7±2.50 μm. Drug-loading efficiency varied from 93.2% to 104%. The composite microspheres showed higher overall drug release than the PLGA/mannitol microspheres. FTIR analyses indicated good stability and structural integrity of HGH localized in the microspheres. The PLGA-acHES composite microsphere system could be useful for the controlled delivery of protein drugs.
PMCID: PMC2750591  PMID: 12916910
Microspheres; human growth hormone; protein delivery; composite microspheres

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