Drug release from PLGA microspheres attached to solids using supercritical CO2

Kamarza Mulia, Geert Jan Witkamp, Gwen J S Dawes, Lidy Elena Fratila-Apachitei, Iulian Apachitei, Jurek Duszczyk, Hubert Pellikaan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Functionalization of a porous orthopedic implant with dexamethasone, a widely used anti-inflammatory drug, encapsulated within a biodegradable polymer for controlled release could help reduce or eliminate the inflammation response by the local tissue. In this research, we investigated the possibility of using supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) for attaching dexamethasone-loaded PLGA (polylactic-co-glycolic acid) microspheres to porous CoCrMo alloy for continuous delivery of dexamethasone. Supercritical CO2 has been shown to be effective for attachment of PLGA microspheres to glass plates and porous CoCrMo alloy. Attached microspheres showed similar dexamethasone release profiles but different magnitude of burst release. Microspheres attached to the porous alloy samples using supercritical CO2 at 10 bar and 40°C for 30 min showed a release profile similar to that of the nonattached microspheres. The microsphere morphology and the release profiles of microspheres attached to the glass plates and to the porous alloy samples suggest that dexamethasone burst release is enhanced by PLGA swelling at higher CO2 pressures and better dispersion of microspheres. This study shows that microspheres can be incorporated into porous solids using supercritical CO2, allowing for a wide variety of drug-biodegradable polymer formulations prepared using the proven emulsion/solvent evaporation method to be tested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-412
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomaterials Applications
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • PLGA
  • continuous release
  • dexamethasone
  • drug delivery system
  • microspheres
  • orthopedic implant
  • supercritical CO2


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