Double walled POE/PLGA microspheres: encapsulation of water-soluble and water-insoluble proteins and their release properties

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The poly(orthoester) (POE)–poly(D,L-lactide–co-glycolide) (50:50) (PLGA) double-walled microspheres with 50% POE in weight were loaded with hydrophilic bovine serum albumin (BSA) and hydrophobic cyclosporin A (CyA). Most of the BSA and CyA was entrapped within the shell and core, respectively, because of the difference in their hydrophilicity. The morphologies and release mechanisms of proteins-loaded double-walled POE/PLGA microspheres were investigated. Scanning electron microscope studies revealed that the CyA–BSA-loaded double-walled POE/PLGA microspheres yielded a more porous surface and PLGA shell than those without BSA. The neat POE and PLGA yielded slow and incomplete CyA and BSA release. In contrast, nearly complete BSA and more than 95% CyA were released in a sustained manner from the double-walled POE/PLGA microspheres. Both the BSA- and CyA–BSA-loaded POE/PLGA microspheres yielded a sustained BSA release over 5 days. The CyA release pattern of the CyA-loaded double-walled POE/PLGA microspheres was biphasic, characterized by a slow release over 15 days followed by a sustained release over 27 days. However, the CyA–BSA-loaded double-walled POE/PLGA microspheres provided a more constant and faster CyA release due to their more porous shell. In the CyA–BSA-loaded double-walled POE/PLGA microspheres system, the PLGA layer acted as a carrier for BSA and mild reservoir for CyA. During the first 5 days, most BSA was released from the shell but only 14% CyA was left from the microspheres. Subsequently, more than 80% CyA were released in the next 25 days. The distinct structure of double-walled POE/PLGA microspheres would make an interesting device for controlled delivery of therapeutic agents.

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