Journal of microencapsulation

Preparation and characterization of biodegradable urea-loaded microparticles as an approach for transdermal delivery.

PMID 17118885


This work describes the formulation and characterization of urea-loaded microspheres prepared using various polymers such as ethyl cellulose (EC), cellulose acetate phthalate (CAP) and poly (D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA), along with the utilization of a solvent evaporation technique. The effect of various formulation parameters (i.e. polymer type and concentration, vehicle type, polymer solution/vehicle volume ratio, drug/polymer ratio, homogenizer and stirrer speed, sonication time and speed, type of washing solution, drying and separation method) on the characteristics of microspheres was also evaluated. Results obtained indicated that, in the presence of urea, highest rate of EC microsphere production could be obtained at a drug/polymer ratio of 1:2 and a polymer solution/vehicle volume ratio of 1:50. In some cases, crystallization of urea was observed during the encapsulation process using cellulose derivative polymers. CAP microparticles showed a rough and tortuous surface while EC microparticles had a wider range of particle size. However, with the PLGA polymer, much better desired microparticles with a smaller size range of 1-3 microm were obtained. In general, PLGA microspheres were spherical in shape and possessed smooth surfaces with less pores in comparison with those obtained by the other polymers. The yield of particle production and the extent of urea encapsulation in PLGA particles were measured to be 68.87% +/- 5.3 and 40.5% +/- 3.4, respectively. The release study from PLGA microspheres revealed that up to 70% of the drug was released within a few days, through a four-stage release pattern.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

Cellulose acetate phthalate