Effects of implant diameter, drug loading and end-capping on praziquantel release from PCL implants


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Abstract

Praziquantel (PZQ)-loaded poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) cylindrical implants were fabricated and characterized. Implant diameter (3, 4 and 8 mm), drug loading (25% and 50%), and the end-capping were investigated to evaluate their effects on drug release. The evolution of implants with release time was conducted in terms of implant microstructure, crystallinity, drug content and molecular weight of PCL. The results showed that drug release was fastest for the implant with a diameter of 3 mm and slowest for the implant with a diameter of 8 mm; drug release from the implant with a drug content of 50% was faster than that from the implant with a drug content of 25%; the release of PZQ from the end-capped implants was slightly slower than that from the corresponding end-uncapped implants. The effect of drug loadings on PZQ release was related with diameter of the implants and the effect was weakened as diameter of the implants increased. The drug release data for all the implants were best fitted with Ritger–Peppas model, therefore Fickian diffusion was the predominant release mechanism. The evolution of implants with release time verified that PZQ was gradually released from the exterior to the interior of the implants.

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