Microporous polycaprolactone matrices for drug delivery and tissue engineering: the release behaviour of bioactives having extremes of aqueous solubility

H. I. Chang, Y. Wang, Y. Perrie, A. G A Coombes

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Microporous polycaprolactone (PCL) matrices loaded with hydrophobic steroidal drugs or a hydrophilic drug – pilocarpine hydrochloride – were produced by precipitation casting using solutions of PCL in acetone. The efficiency of steroid incorporation in the final matrix (progesterone (56 %) testosterone (46 %) dexamethasone (80 %)) depended on the nature of the drug initially co-dissolved in the PCL solution. Approximately 90 % w/w of the initial load of progesterone, 85 % testosterone and 50 % dexamethasone was released from the matrices in PBS at 37 °C over 8 days. Pilocarpine hydrochloride (PH)-loaded PCL matrices, prepared by dispersion of powder in PCL solution, released 70-90 % of the PH content over 12 days in PBS. Application of the Higuchi model revealed that the kinetics of steroid and PH release were consistent with a Fickian diffusion mechanism with corresponding diffusion coefficients of 5.8 × 10- 9 (progesterone), 3.9 × 10- 9 (testosterone), 7.1 × 10- 10 (dexamethasone) and 2.2 × 10- 8 cm2/s (pilocarpine hydrochloride). The formulation techniques described are expected to be useful for production of implantable, insertable and topical devices for sustained delivery of a range of bioactive molecules of interest in drug delivery and tissue engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2010


  • matrix device
  • tissue engineering
  • steroids
  • polycaprolactone
  • pilocarpine
  • ocular delivery
  • microporous

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