Microencapsulation of drugs into solid biodegradable polymeric microspheres via solvent evaporation technique remains challenging especially with those having low molecular weight and high hydrophilicity nature. This paper presents an efficient encapsulation protocol for this group of drugs, demonstrated using hydrogen peroxide as a model compound that is encapsulated into poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) microspheres. Hydrogen peroxide can be employed as antiseptic agent or its decomposed form into oxygen can be useful in various pharmaceutical applications. The new encapsulation technique was developed based on the modification of conventional double emulsion and solvent evaporation protocol with a backward concentration gradient of hydrogen peroxide. This was achieved by adding and controlling the concentration of hydrogen peroxide at the continuous phase during the solidification stage of the microspheres. Parameters involved in the production and the formulation aspect were optimized to achieve the best protocol having controlled efficiency of encapsulation that is simple, safe, practical, and economical. Evaluation on the encapsulation efficiency and the release profile has been made indirectly by monitoring the dissolved oxygen level of the solution where the microspheres were incubated. Morphology of the microspheres was investigated using scanning electron microscopy. This proposed method has successfully used to prepare batches of microspheres having different encapsulation efficiencies and its potential applications have been demonstrated accordingly. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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