Drug Discov Ther. 2015;9(4):303-309. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2015.01053)

Fabrication of porous ethyl cellulose microspheres based on the acetone-glycerin-water ternary system: Controlling porosity via the solvent-removal mode.

Murakami M, Matsumoto A, Watanabe C, Kurumado Y, Takama M


Porous ethyl cellulose (EC) microspheres were prepared from the acetone-glycerin-water ternary system using an oil/water (O/W)-type emulsion solvent extraction method. The O/W type emulsion was prepared using acetone dissolved ethyl cellulose as an oil phase and aqueous glycerin as a water phase. The effects of the different solvent extraction modes on the porosity of the microspheres were investigated. The specific surface area of the porous EC microspheres was estimated by the gas adsorption method. When the solvent was extracted rapidly by mixing the emulsion with water instantaneously, porous EC microspheres with a maximum specific surface area of 40.7 ± 2.1 m2/g were obtained. On the other hand, when water was added gradually to the emulsion, the specific surface area of the fabricated microspheres decreased rapidly with an increase in the infusion period, with the area being 25-45% of the maximum value. The results of an analysis of the ternary phase diagram of the system suggested that the penetration of water and glycerin from the continuous phase to the dispersed phase before solidification affected the porosity of the fabricated EC microspheres.

KEYWORDS: Porous microspheres, ethyl cellulose, acetone-glycerin-water ternary system, phase separation, solvent extraction

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