Highly soluble drugs tend to release from preparations at high speeds, which make them need to be taken at frequent intervals. Additionally, some drugs need to be controlled to release in vivo at certain periods, so as to achieve therapeutic effects. Thus, the objective of this study is to design injectable microparticulate systems with controllable in vivo release profile. Biodegradable PLGA was used as the matrix material to fabricate microspheres using the traditional double emulsification-solvent evaporation method as well as improved techniques, with gel (5% gelatine or 25% F127) or LP powders as the inner phases. Their physicochemical properties were systemically investigated. Microspheres prepared by modified methods had an increase in drug loading (15.50, 16.72, 15.66%, respectively) and encapsulation efficiencies (73.46, 79.42, 74.40%, respectively) when compared with traditional methods (12.01 and 57.06%). The morphology of the particles was characterized by optical microscope (OM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and the amorphous nature of the encapsulated drug was confirmed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. To evaluate their release behaviour, the in vitro degradation, in vitro release and in vivo pharmacodynamics were subsequently studied. Traditional microspheres prepared in this study with water as the inner phase had a relatively short release period within 16 d when compared with modified microspheres with 5% gelatine as the inner phase, which resulted in a smooth release profile and appropriate plasma LP concentrations over 21 d. Thus this type of modified microspheres can be better used in drugs requiring sustained release. The other two formulations containing 25% F127 and LP micropowders presented two-stage release profiles, resulting in fluctuant plasma LP concentrations which may be suitable for drugs requiring controlled release. All the results suggested that drug release rates from the microspheres prepared by various methods were mainly controlled by either the porosity inside the microspheres or the degradation of materials, which could, therefore, lead to different release behaviours. This results indicated great potential of the PLGA microsphere formulation as an injectable depot for controllable in vivo release profile via rational core phase design.

Core/shell microspheres fabricated by modified double emulsification-solvent evaporation methods, with various inner phases, to obtain high loading drugs system, as well as appropriate release behaviours. Accordingly, control in vivo release profile via rational core phase design.

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