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Benzoyl peroxide (BPO) is commonly used in topical formulations for the treatment of acne and athletes foot. Skin irritation is a common side effect, and it has been shown that controlled release of BPO from a delivery system to the skin could reduce the side effect while reducing percutaneous absorption. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to produce ethylcellulose microparticles containing BPO which were able to control the release of BPO to the skin. In order to optimize the microparticle formulation, factors affecting the physical properties of microparticles were also investigated. Benzoyl peroxide microparticles were prepared using an emulsion solvent diffusion method by adding an organic internal phase containing benzoyl peroxide, ethyl cellulose and dichloromethane into a stirred aqueous phase containing polyvinyl alcohol. Drug content, particle size analysis and loading yield were determined in the prepared microparticles. BPO microparticles were then incorporated into standard vehicles for release studies. Scanning electron microscopy was used to study the shape and morphology of the microsponges. The micrograph of microsponges showed that they were spherical in shape and contained pores. These pores resulted from the diffusion of solvent from the surface of the microparticles and thus the particles were designated as microsponges. It was shown that the drug:polymer ratio, stirring rate, volume of dispersed phase influenced the particle size and drug release behavior of the formed microsponges and that the presence of emulsifier was essential for microsponge formation. The results showed that, generally, an increase in the ratio of drug:polymer resulted in a reduction in the release rate of BPO from microsponges which was attributed to a decreased internal porosity of the microsponges.