AAPS PharmSciTech

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 2041–2047 | Cite as

MPEG-PCL Copolymeric Micelles for Encapsulation of Azithromycin

  • Wenxiu Wei
  • Shida Li
  • Hongmei Xu
  • Feilong Zhou
  • Yi Wen
  • Zhimei Song
  • Sijia Feng
  • Runliang FengEmail author
Research Article


Macrolide antibiotics are lipophilic drugs with some limitations including low solubility, limited cellular permeation, patients discomfort, etc. With amphiphilic methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone) (MPEG-PCL) copolymer and azithromycin (AZT) as drug carrier and model drug, AZT-loaded micelles were prepared via thin-membrane hydration method in order to overcome these limitations. Encapsulation efficiency of AZT-loaded micelles was 94.40% with good storage stability for 28 days, and AZT’s water solubility was enhanced to 944 μg/mL. Fourier transform infrared spectrum and x-ray diffraction analysis indicated that AZT was enveloped into the micelles in amorphous form due to its interaction with the copolymer. AZT’s in vitro release from the AZT-loaded micelles demonstrated a slow and continuous behavior when compared with raw AZT. The release dynamics was accorded with Weibull equation, meaning that release amount of AZT lowered with time and was proportional to remaining amount of drug in the AZT-loaded micelles. Korsmeyer-Peppas fitting result suggested that drug release process was a classical Fickian diffusion-controlled manner. With Staphylococcus aureus as bacterial strain, antibacterial activity of the AZT-loaded micelles displayed was comparable with raw AZT. In conclusion, MPEG-PCL should be a promising carrier for macrolide antibiotic delivery in treatment of bacterial infections.


methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) poly(ε-caprolactone) micelles azithromycin macrolide antibiotics 


Funding information

This work is supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province under grant number ZR2016BL15, and Science and Technology Project of University of Jinan under grant number XKY1732.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenxiu Wei
    • 1
  • Shida Li
    • 1
  • Hongmei Xu
    • 1
  • Feilong Zhou
    • 1
  • Yi Wen
    • 1
  • Zhimei Song
    • 1
  • Sijia Feng
    • 2
  • Runliang Feng
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Biological Science and TechnologyUniversity of JinanJinanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Basic Medical SciencesDali UniversityDaliPeople’s Republic of China

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