The purpose of this study was to reveal factors that have an impact on the protein release kinetics from triglyceride microspheres prepared by spray congealing. We investigated the effect of protein particle size, morphology and distribution on protein release from microspheres by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM).The microspheres were loaded with three types of model particles made of FITC-labeled bovine serum albumin: freeze dried protein, spherical particles obtained by precipitation in the presence of PEG and micronized material. Investigation by light microscopy and laser light diffraction revealed that the freeze dried material consisted mainly of app. 29μm elongated shaped particles. The precipitated BSA consisted mainly of 9.0μm diameter spherically shaped particles while the micronized protein prepared by jet milling consisted of 4.9μm sized rounded particles of high uniformity. Microspheres were embedded into a cold-curing resin and cut with a microtome. Subsequent investigation by CLSM revealed major differences of distribution of the polydisperse protein particles inside the microsphere sections depending on the type of BSA that was used. Particles of micronized and precipitated protein were distributed almost throughout the microsphere cross section. The protein distribution had a marked impact on the release kinetics in phosphate buffer. Large protein particles led to a considerably faster release than small ones. By staining the release medium we demonstrated that in all three cases there was a strong correlation between protein release and buffer intrusion. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
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