Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 26, Issue 7, pp 1644–1656 | Cite as

PLGA and PHBV Microsphere Formulations and Solid-State Characterization: Possible Implications for Local Delivery of Fusidic Acid for the Treatment and Prevention of Orthopaedic Infections

  • Chiming Yang
  • David Plackett
  • David Needham
  • Helen M. BurtEmail author
Research Paper



To develop and characterize the solid-state properties of poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) and poly(3-hydroxybutyric acid-co-3-hydroxyvaleric acid) (PHBV) microspheres for the localized and controlled release of fusidic acid (FA).


The effects of FA loading and polymer composition on the mean diameter, encapsulation efficiency and FA released from the microspheres were determined. The solid-state and phase separation properties of the microspheres were characterized using DSC, XRPD, Raman spectroscopy, SEM, laser confocal and real time recording of single microspheres formation.


Above a loading of 1% (w/w) FA phase separated from PLGA polymer and formed distinct spherical FA-rich amorphous microdomains throughout the PLGA microsphere. For FA-loaded PLGA microspheres, encapsulation efficiency and cumulative release increased with initial drug loading. Similarly, cumulative release from FA-loaded PHBV microspheres was increased by FA loading. After the initial burst release, FA was released from PLGA microspheres much slower compared to PHBV microspheres.


A unique phase separation phenomenon of FA in PLGA but not in PHBV polymers was observed, driven by coalescence of liquid microdroplets of a DCM-FA-rich phase in the forming microsphere.


antibiotics controlled drug delivery fusidic acid PLGA and PHBV microspheres solid-state phase separation 



Backscattering SEM


Differential scanning calorimetry


Fusidic acid


Hydroxyvaleric acid


Poly(3-hydroxybutyric acid-co-3-hydroxyvaleric acid)


Poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid)


Poly(L -lactic acid)




Scanning electron microscopy


Glass transition temperature


Melting temperature


Enthalpy relaxation temperature


X-ray powder diffraction


Enthalpy of melting


Enthalpy relaxation



We would like to thank Dr. Tim Smith and Renishaw plc, Wotton-under-Edge, UK for his assistance and the use of the confocal Raman microscope. We also like to thank John Jackson, Kevin Letchford, Sam Gilchrist and Ben Wasserman for their excellent technical assistance and discussion. This work was supported by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Emerging Team (NET) Grant. In addition, the authors would like to thank Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) for financial support to C.Y. in the form of a NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship-Doctoral (PGS-D).

Supplementary material

11095_2009_9875_MOESM1_ESM.avi (5.3 mb)
ESM 1 (AVI 5.34 MB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chiming Yang
    • 1
  • David Plackett
    • 2
  • David Needham
    • 3
  • Helen M. Burt
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable EnergyTechnical University of Denmark—DTURoskildeDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical Engineering and Material ScienceDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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