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Biomaterials. 2005 Jan;26(1):109-15.

Microspheres of corn protein, zein, for an ivermectin drug delivery system.

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  • 1Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 354 Fenglin Road, Shanghai 200032, China.


A novel microsphere drug delivery system of ivermectin (IVM) using hydrophobic protein zein was prepared by the phase separation method and characterized by a scanning electron microscope and laser light scattering particle size analyzer. Releases of model drug IVM from zein microspheres, tabletted microspheres and pepsin degradation of tabletted microspheres were also performed in vitro to investigate the mechanism of model drug release. The results show that the zein microspheres and tabletted microspheres are suitable for use as a sustained-release form of IVM. The microspheres may also be useful in drug targeting system since the diameter of the microspheres is appropriate for phagocytosis by macrophages. Moreover, the release of IVM from enzymatic degraded tabletted microspheres shows a zero-order release, implying a potential application in tissue engineering for preparing scaffold, which is composed of microspheres encapsulating bioactive components for stimulating cell differentiation and proliferation.

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