Sustained release of antineoplastic drugs from chitosan-reinforced alginate microparticle drug delivery systems

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Alginate based microparticle drug delivery systems were prepared for the sustained release of antineoplastic drugs. Two drugs, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and tegafur, were encapsulated into the microparticles. The drug loaded microparticles were fabricated using a very convenient method under very mild conditions, i.e., directly shredding the drug loaded beads into microparticles in a commercial food processor. The mean sizes of the obtained microparticles were between 100 and 200 μm. To effectively sustain the drug release, alginate microparticles were reinforced by chitosan during gelation. The drug release from the chitosan-reinforced alginate microparticles was obviously slower than that from the unreinforced microparticles. The effect of the reinforcement conditions on the drug release property of the microparticles was studied, and the optimized concentration of chitosan solution for reinforcement was identified. The effects of drug feeding concentration and pH value of the release medium on the drug release were investigated.

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