In Vitro and in Vivo Optimization of Phase Sensitive Smart Polymer for Controlled Delivery of Rivastigmine for Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease



Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, and most common form of dementia afflicting over 35 million people worldwide. Rivastigmine is a widely used therapeutic for ameliorating clinical manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease. However, current treatments require frequent dosing either orally or via transdermal patch that lead to compliance issues and administration errors risking serious adverse effects. Our objective was to develop a smart polymer based delivery system for controlled release of rivastigmine over an extended period following a single subcutaneous injection.


Rivastigmine release was optimized by tailoring critical factors including polymer concentration, polymer composition, drug concentration, solvent composition, and drug hydrophobicity (rivastigmine tartrate vs base). Optimized in vitro formulation was evaluated in vivo for safety and efficacy.


Formulation prepared using PLGA (50:50) at 5% w/v in 95:5 benzyl benzoate: benzoic acid demonstrated desirable controlled drug release characteristics in vitro. The formulation demonstrated sustained release of rivastigmine tartrate for 7 days in vivo with promising biocompatibility and acetylcholinesterase inhibition efficacy for 14 days.


The results exemplify an easily injectable controlled release formulation of rivastigmine prepared using phase-sensitive smart polymer. The optimized formulation significantly increases the dosing interval, and can potentially improve patient compliance as well as quality of life of patients living with Alzheimer’s disease.

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This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant# R15GM114701. The authors declare no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this article.

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Correspondence to Amrita Banerjee.

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Lipp, L., Sharma, D., Banerjee, A. et al. In Vitro and in Vivo Optimization of Phase Sensitive Smart Polymer for Controlled Delivery of Rivastigmine for Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. Pharm Res 37, 34 (2020).

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Key Words

  • alzheimer’s disease
  • controlled release
  • phase sensitive
  • rivastigmine
  • smart polymers