Understanding controlled drug release from mesoporous silicates: Theory and experiment


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Abstract

Based on the results of carefully designed experiments upgraded with appropriate theoretical modeling, we present clear evidence that the release curves from mesoporous materials are significantly affected by drug–matrix interactions. In experimental curves, these interactions are manifested as a non-convergence at long times and an inverse dependence of release kinetics on pore size. Neither of these phenomena is expected in non-interacting systems. Although both phenomena have, rather sporadically, been observed in previous research, they have not been explained in terms of a general and consistent theoretical model. The concept is demonstrated on a model drug indomethacin embedded into SBA-15 and MCM-41 porous silicates. The experimental release curves agree exceptionally well with theoretical predictions in the case of significant drug–wall attractions. The latter are described using a 2D Fokker–Planck equation. One could say that the interactions affect the relative cross-section of pores where the local flux has a non-vanishing axial component and in turn control the effective transfer of drug into bulk solution. Finally, we identify the critical parameters determining the pore size dependence of release kinetics and construct a dynamic phase diagram of the various resulting transport regimes.Graphical abstract

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