Size mapping of electric field-assisted production of polycaprolactone particles.
Enayati M., Ahmad Z., Stride E., Edirisinghe M.
In this investigation, biodegradable polycaprolactone polymeric particles (300-4500 nm in diameter) were prepared by jetting a solution in an electric field. An extensive study has been carried out to determine how the size and size distribution of the particles generated can be controlled by systematically varying the polymer concentration in solution (and thereby its viscosity and electrical conductivity), and also the selected flow rate (2-50 microl min(-1)) and applied voltage (0-15 kV) during particle generation. Change in these parameters affects the mode of jetting, and within the stable cone-jet mode window, an increase in the applied voltage (approx. 15 kV) resulted in a reduction in particle size and this was more pronounced at high flow rates (such as; 30, 40 and 50 microl min(-1)) in the same region. The carrier particles were more polydisperse at the peripheral regions of the stable cone-jet mode, as defined in the applied voltage-flow rate parametric map. The effect of loading a drug on the particle size, size distribution and encapsulation efficiency was also studied. Release from drug-loaded particles was investigated using UV spectrophotometry over 45 days. This work demonstrates a powerful method of generating drug-loaded polymeric particles, with the ability to control size and polydispersivity, which has great potential in several categories of biotechnology requiring carrier particles, such as drug delivery and gene therapy.