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How bulk fluid renewal can affect in vitro drug release from PLGA implants: Importance of the experimental set-up

Bassand, C., Benabed, L., Freitag, J., Verin, J., Siepmann, F. and Siepmann, J. (2022) How bulk fluid renewal can affect in vitro drug release from PLGA implants: Importance of the experimental set-up. International Journal of Pharmaceutics: X, 4. pp. 50-60. ISSN 25901567


The aim of this study was to better understand the potential impact of partial vs. complete renewal of the bulk fluid during drug release measurements from poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)-based implants. A "standard experimental set-up", in which the implants were directly exposed to well agitated phosphate buffer pH 7.4 was used, as well as set-ups, in which the implants were embedded within agarose hydrogels (mimicking living tissue). The gels were exposed to well agitated phosphate buffer pH 7.4. Ibuprofen-loaded implants were prepared by hot melt extrusion. The systems were thoroughly characterized before and during drug release by optical and scanning electron microscopy, gravimetric analysis, pH and solubility measurements as well as gel permeation chromatography. The bulk fluid was either completely or partially replaced by fresh medium at each sampling time point. In all cases, sink conditions were provided in the agitated bulk fluids throughout the experiments. Interestingly, the agarose set-ups did not show any noteworthy impact of the bulk fluid sampling volume on the observed drug release patterns, whereas complete fluid renewal in the "standard set-up" led to accelerated drug release. This could be explained by the considerable fragility of the implants once substantial polymer swelling set on, transforming them into PLGA gels: Complete fluid renewal caused partial disintegration and damage of the highly swollen systems, decreasing the lengths of the diffusion pathways for the drug. The mechanical stress is very much reduced at low sampling volumes, or if the implants are embedded within agarose gels. Thus, great care must be taken when defining the conditions for in vitro drug release measurements from PLGA-based implants: Once substantial system swelling sets on, the devices become highly fragile.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2022 00:45
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2022 00:45


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