Spray drying of silica microparticles for sustained release application with a new sol-gel precursor

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Abstract

A new precursor, tetrakis(2-methoxyethyl) orthosilicate (TMEOS) was used to fabricate microparticles for sustained release application, specifically for biopharmaceuticals, by spray drying. The advantages of TMEOS over the currently applied precursors are its water solubility and hydrolysis at moderate pH without the need of organic solvents or catalyzers. Thus a detrimental effect on biomolecular drug is avoided. By generating spray-dried silica particles encapsulating the high molecular weight model compound FITC-dextran 150 via the nano spray dryer Büchi-90, we demonstrated how formulation parameters affect and enable control of drug release properties. The implemented strategies to regulate release included incorporating different quantities of dextrans with varying molecular weight as well as adjusting the pH of the precursor solution to modify the internal microstructures. The addition of dextran significantly altered the released amount, while the release became faster with increasing dextran molecular weight. A sustained release over 35 days could be achieved with addition of 60 kD dextran. The rate of FITC-Dextran 150 release from the dextran 60 containing particles decreased with higher precursor solution pH. In conclusion, the new precursor TMEOS presents a promising alternative sol-gel technology based carrier material for sustained release application of high molecular weight biopharmaceutical drugs.

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