Sustained-release microsphere formulation containing an agrochemical by polyurethane polymerization during an agitation granulation process

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Graphical abstractIn this report, a new solventless microencapsulation method by synthesizing polyurethane (PU) from polyol and isocyanate during an agglomeration process in a high-speed mixing apparatus was developed. Clothianidin (CTD), which is a neonicotinoid insecticide and highly effective against a wide variety of insect pests, was used as the model compound. The microencapsulated samples covered with PU (CTD microspheres) had a median diameter of <75 μm and sustained-release properties. The CTD microspheres were analyzed by synchrotron X-ray computed tomography measurements. Multiple cores of CTD and other solid excipient were dispersed in PU. Although voids appeared in the CTD microspheres after CTD release, the spherical shape of the microspheres remained stable and no change in its framework was observed. The experimental release data were highly consistent with the Baker–Lonsdale model derived from drug release of spherical monolithic dispersions and consistent with the computed tomography measurements.

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