Development of new reverse micellar microencapsulation technique to load water-soluble drug into PLGA microspheres

Hyunjoo Kim, Mihyun Cho, Hongkee Sah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to develop a new reverse micelle-based microencapsulation technique to load tetracycline hydrochloride into PLGA microspheres. To do so, a reverse micellar system was formulated to dissolve tetracycline hydrochloride and water in ethyl formate with the aid of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide. The resultant micellar solution was used to dissolve 0.3 to 0.75 g of PLGA, and microspheres were prepared following a modified solvent quenching technique. As a control experiment, the drug was encapsulated into PLGA microspheres via a conventional methylene chloride-based emulsion procedure. The microspheres were then characterized with regard to drug loading efficiency, their size distribution and morphology. The reverse micellar procedure led to the formation of free-flowing, spherical microspheres with the size mode of 88 μm. When PLGA microspheres were prepared following the conventional methylene chloride-based procedure, most of tetracycline hydrochloride leached to the aqueous external phase: A maximal loading efficiency observed our experimental conditions was below 5%. Their surfaces had numerous pores, while their internal architecture was honey-combed. In sharp contrast, the new reverse micellar encapsulation technique permitted the attainment of a maximal loading efficiency of 63.19 ± 0.64%. Also, the microspheres had smooth and pore-free surfaces, and hollow cavities were absent from their internal matrices. The results of this study demonstrated that PLGA microspheres could be successfully prepared following the new reverse micellar encapsulation technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-375
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Pharmacal Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 31 Mar 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a Korea Research Foundation Grant (KRF-2001-041-F00304).


  • Microencapsulation
  • Microspheres
  • PLGA
  • Reverse micelles


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