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J Microencapsul. 2005 Jun;22(4):423-37.

Use of porous aluminosilicate pellets for drug delivery.

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University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.


Three pelletized porous aluminosilicate ceramics were obtained commercially and their potential to act as extended release drug delivery systems was assessed. The pellets were drug loaded using a vacuum impregnation technique. Factors such as the concentration of the loading solution and the porosity and bulk density of the ceramic influenced the drug loading. The release of drug from the pellets was extended as the drug was entrapped within their porous interior. The rate of release was influenced by the porous microstructure of the pellets and the physicochemical properties of the drug. Extrusion-spheronization was used to prepare pellets similar to the porous ceramics. The pellet formulations contained an aluminosilicate clay mineral (kaolin or halloysite), ethylcellulose 100 cps, ethanol and varying quantities of sucrose. The latter two components acted as pore forming agents. Diltiazem HCl was loaded into the pellets and its release was extended. The release rate could be modified by changing the quantity of sucrose included in the initial formulation, as this influenced the porous microstructure of the pellets. In halloysite-based products the release was further extended due to entrapment of the drug within the halloysite microtubules. Porous kaolin-based pellets were also prepared by cryopelletization. This involved freezing droplets of an aqueous suspension containing kaolin, sodium silicate solution and sodium lauryl sulphate. The resulting pellets were freeze-dried, which removed ice from them to leave pores behind. The pellets gave extended drug release with the release rate being influenced by the porous microstructure of the pellets and their microclimate pH.

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