Preparation andin vitroevaluation of silk fibroin microspheres produced by a novel ultra-fine particle processing system

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The objective of this study was to prepare silk fibroin SF microspheres containing the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) by using a novel ultra-fine particle processing system (UPPS) and to evaluate the microspheres as possible carriers for long-term delivery of sensitive biologicals. The drug content, encapsulation efficiency, and in vitro release were evaluated by Microplate Absorbance Reader. The particle size distribution and morphology of the microspheres were analyzed by Malvern Master Sizer 2000 and scanning electron microscopy. The distribution of EGFP and the interactions between SF and EGFP were investigated by Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy, FTIP, Raman and NMR spectroscopy. The results showed that spherical microspheres with narrow size distribution, glossy and dense surface were successfully manufactured by using UPPS technology and over 95% of EGFP encapsulation efficiency and uniform drug distribution in the microspheres were achieved. Furthermore, a burst free and sustained release of encapsulated EGFP for a period of 50 days in deionized water was obtained. In conclusion, the novel UPPS technology could be used to manufacture SF matrix microspheres as a potential long-term protein delivery system to improve patient compliance and convenience.

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