Xylan extracted from corn cobs was used to produce mesalamine-loaded xylan microparticles (XMP5-ASA) by cross-linking polymerization using a non-hazardous cross-linking agent. The microparticles were characterized by thermal analysis (DSC/TG), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR-ATR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). A comparative study of the in vitro drug release from XMP5-ASA and from gastro-resistant capsules filled with XMP5-ASA (XMPCAP5-ASA) or 5-ASA was also performed. NMR, FTIR-ATR, XRD and DSC/TG studies indicated molecularly dispersed drug in the microparticles with increment on drug stability. The release studies showed that XMPCAP5-ASA allowed more efficient drug retention in the simulated gastric fluid and a prolonged drug release lasting up to 24 h. XMPCAP5-ASA retained approximately 48 % of its drug content after 6 h on the drug release assay. Thus, the encapsulation of 5-ASA into xylan microparticles together with gastro-resistant capsules allowed a better release control of the drug during different simulated gastrointestinal medium.
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