Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 524–535 | Cite as

Preparation of Large Porous Deslorelin-PLGA Microparticles with Reduced Residual Solvent and Cellular Uptake Using a Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Process

  • Kavitha Koushik
  • Uday B. KompellaEmail author


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to prepare large-porous peptide-encapsulating polymeric particles with low residual solvent that retain deslorelin integrity, sustain drug release, and exhibit reduced epithelial and macrophage uptake. We hypothesized that supercritical carbon dioxide (SC CO2) pressure-quench treatment of microparticles prepared using conventional approach expands these particles and extracts the residual organic solvent.

Methods. Initial studies with crystalline L-lactide (L-PLA) and amorphous copolymers of lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA) 50:50, 65:35, and 75:25 indicated that PLGA 50:50 was the most amenable to morphological changes upon SC CO2 treatment. Therefore, we prepared deslorelin-PLGA (50:50) microparticles using the conventional emulsion-solvent evaporation method, and in a second step equilibrated with SC CO2 at various temperatures (33-37°C) and pressures (1200-2000 psi) for discrete intervals followed by rapid isothermal depressurization. The particles were then characterized for morphology, polymer thermal properties, particle size, porosity, bulk density, and residual solvent content. Also, deslorelin integrity, conformation, release, and cellular uptake before and after SC CO2 treatment was determined.

Results. Upon SC CO2 treatment (1200 psi, 33°C for 30 min), the mean particle size of the deslorelin PLGA microparticles increased from 2.2 to 13.8 μm, the mean porosity increased from 39 to 92.38%, the mean pore diameter increased from 90 to 190 nm, the mean bulk density reduced from 0. 7 to 0.082 g/cc, mass spectrometry indicated structural integrity of released deslorelin, the circular dichroism spectrum indicated stabilization of β-turn conformation, and the scanning electron microscopy confirmed increased particle size and pore formation. The deslorelin release was sustained during the 7-day study period. Also, the peak Tg of PLGA decreased from 51 to 45°C, and the residual solvent content was reduced from 4500 ppm to below detection limit (< 25 ppm). The accumulation of drug from SC CO2 treated particles in cell layers of Calu-3, A549, and rat alveolar macrophages was reduced by 87, 91 and 50%, respectively, compared to untreated particles.

Conclusion. An SCF-derived process could be successfully applied to prepare large porous deslorelin-PLGA particles with reduced residual solvent content, which retained deslorelin integrity, sustained deslorelin release, and reduced cellular uptake.

deslorelin supercritical porous particles macrophage uptake A549 and Calu-3 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of Nebraska Medical CenterOmaha

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