Microporous, poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) matrices were loaded with the aminoglycoside antibiotic, gentamicin sulphate (GS) using the precipitation casting technique by suspension of powder in the PCL solution prior to casting. Improvements in drug loading from 1.8% to 6.7% w/w and distribution in the matrices were obtained by pre-cooling the suspension to 4 °C. Gradual release of approximately 80% of the GS content occurred over 11 weeks in PBS at 37 °C and low amounts of antibiotic were measured up to 20 weeks. The kinetics of release could be described effectively by the Higuchi model with the diffusion rate constant (D) increasing from of 1.7 to 5.1 μg/mg matrix/day0.5 as the drug loading increased from 1.4% to 8.3% w/w. GS-loaded PCL matrices retained anti-bacterial activity after immersion in PBS at 37 °C over 14 days as demonstrated by inhibition of growth of S. epidermidis in culture. These findings recommend further investigation of precipitation-cast PCL matrices for delivery of hydrophilic molecules such as anti-bacterial agents from implanted, inserted or topical devices.
- infection control