Preparation of Ethyl Cellulose Microspheres for Sustained Release of Sodium Bicarbonate

Document Type: Research article


Institute of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou, 310058, PR China.


Sustained release of thermal-instable and water-soluble drugs with low molecule weight is a challenge. In this study, sodium bicarbonate was encapsulated in ethyl cellulose microspheres by a novel solid-in-oil-in-oil (S/O/O) emulsification method using acetonitrile/soybean oil as new solvent pairs. Properties of the microspheres such as size, recovery rate, morphology, drug content, and drug release behavior were evaluated to investigate the suitable preparation techniques. In the case of that the ratio of the internal and external oil phase was 1: 9, Tween 80 as a stabilizer resulted in the highest drug content (2.68%) and a good spherical shape of microspheres. After the ratio increased to 1: 4, the microspheres using Tween 80 as the stabilizer also had high drug content (1.96%) and exhibited a sustained release behavior, with 70% of drug released within 12 h and a sustained release of more than 40 h. Otherwise, different emulsification temperatures at which acetonitrile was evaporated could influence the drug release behaviour of microspheres obtained. This novel method is a potential and effective method to achieve the encapsulation and the sustained release of thermal-instable and water-soluble drugs with low molecule weight.


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