Modifying theophylline microparticle surfaces via the sequential deposition of poly(vinyl alcohol-co-vinyl acetate) copolymers

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Graphical abstractThe aim of this study was to investigate the manner in which amphiphilic poly(vinyl alcohol-co-vinyl acetate) copolymers (PVA-Ac) assembled on drug surfaces and use this information to generate a novel bi-layer polymer coating for a theophylline microparticle. Three grades of PVA-Ac, differing in hydrolysis degree and monomer distribution, were synthesised, characterised by nuclear magnetic resonance and shown to interact with theophylline when suspended in water. PVA-Ac deposition at the solid/liquid interface was driven by polymer hydrogen bond formation in a process that induced consequential structural changes in the macromolecule architecture. The most hydrophobic grades of the copolymer appeared to adsorb in a multistage process that passed through a series of equilibrium points. The PVA-Ac surface allowed two grades of the copolymer to be sequentially adsorbed and this resulted in the fabrication of a microparticle with desirable characteristics for pharmaceutical formulation production.

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