Electrospray synthesis and properties of hierarchically structured PLGA TIPS microspheres for use as controlled release technologies

Salman A. Malik, Wing H. Ng, James Bowen, Justin Tang, Alessandro Gomez, Anthony J. Kenyon, Richard M. Day

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32 Citations (Scopus)
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Microsphere-based controlled release technologies have been utilized for the long-term delivery of proteins, peptides and antibiotics, although their synthesis poses substantial challenges owing to formulation complexities, lack of scalability, and cost. To address these shortcomings, we used the electrospray process as a reproducible, synthesis technique to manufacture highly porous (>94%) microspheres while maintaining control over particle structure and size. Here we report a successful formulation recipe used to generate spherical poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) microspheres using the electrospray (ES) coupled with a novel thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) process with a tailored Liquid Nitrogen (LN2) collection scheme. We show how size, shape and porosity of resulting microspheres can be controlled by judiciously varying electrospray processing parameters and we demonstrate examples in which the particle size (and porosity) affect release kinetics. The effect of electrospray treatment on the particles and their physicochemical properties are characterized by scanning electron microscopy, confocal Raman microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis and mercury intrusion porosimetry. The microspheres manufactured here have successfully demonstrated long-term delivery (i.e. 1 week) of an active agent, enabling sustained release of a dye with minimal physical degradation and have verified the potential of scalable electrospray technologies for an innovative TIPS-based microsphere production protocol.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-229
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Early online date12 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • electrosprays
  • Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA
  • Microspheres
  • Thermally induced phase separation (TIPS)


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