Accelerated in vitro release testing of implantable PLGA microsphere/PVA hydrogel composite coatings

Jie Shen, University of Connecticut
Diane J, Burgess, University of Connecticut


Dexamethasone loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microsphere/PVA hydrogel composites have been investigated as an outer drug-eluting coating for implantable devices such as glucose sensors to counter negative tissue responses to implants. The objective of this study was to develop a discriminatory, accelerated in vitro release testing method for this drug-eluting coating using United States Pharmacopeia (USP) apparatus 4. Polymer degradation and drug release kinetics were investigated under "real-time" and accelerated conditions (i.e. extreme pH, hydro-alcoholic solutions and elevated temperatures). Compared to "real-time" conditions, the initial burst and lag phases were similar using hydro-alcoholic solutions and extreme pH conditions, while the secondary apparent zero-order release phase was slightly accelerated. Elevated temperatures resulted in a significant acceleration of dexamethasone release. The accelerated release data were able to predict "real-time" release when applying the Arrhenius equation. Microsphere batches with faster and slower release profiles were investigated under "real-time" and elevated temperature (60°C) conditions to determine the discriminatory ability of the method. The results demonstrated both the feasibility and the discriminatory ability of this USP apparatus 4 method for in vitro release testing of drug loaded PLGA microsphere/PVA hydrogel composites. This method may be appropriate for similar drug/device combination products and drug delivery systems. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.