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J Bioeng. 1976 Nov;1(1):25-32.

Biodegradable semipermeable microcapsules containing enzymes, hormones, vaccines, and other biologicals.


Semipermeable microcapsules were prepared using biodegradable material as the enclosing membranes. For instance, polylactic acid was used as membrane material to microencapsulate biologically active materials. Asparaginase microencapsulated within polylactic acids functions effectively in converting external asparagine into aspartic acid and ammonium. By variations in permeability characteristics, insulin microencapsulated within polylactic acid can be released at pre-adjusted rates. Thus, release rates of 50% in 5 hours, 50% in 20 hours, and 2.5% in 24 hours have been demonstrated. Drugs and vaccines have also been similarily microencapsulated. The advantage of the biodegradable microcapsules is the ability of the body to convert the injected polymer material to normal body metabolites (e.g., CO2 and H2O in the case of polylactic acid) after completion of its function.

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