Biodegradability of sol-gel silica microparticles for drug delivery

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The biodegradability of porous sol–gel silica microparticles in physiological buffers has been investigated using a USP4 flow-through dissolution tester. In the open configuration, which most closely models in-vivo conditions, the particles dissolved rapidly at pH 7.4, with a rate dependent on the surface area and media flow rate. In the closed configuration, the fastest dissolving 4 mg silica sample was almost completely dissolved in 100 mL of buffer after 36 h. The initial dissolution rates appeared relatively linear but dropped off as dissolved SiO2 concentrations approached 20–25 ppm. Addition of serum proteins acted to slow dissolution by 20–30%, suggesting a slower degradation in vivo. Silica microparticles administered for controlled release drug delivery would therefore be expected to be eliminated relatively rapidly from the body, depending on the sample size and local fluid flow conditions. © 2009, Springer. The original publication is available at
Dissolution, Encapsulation, Biodegradation, Therapy, Silica, Porous materials
Finnie, K. S., Waller, D. J., Perret, F. L., Krause-Heuer, A. M., Lin, H. Q., Hanna, J. V., & Barbe, G. J. (2009). Biodegradability of sol-gel silica microparticles for drug delivery. Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology, 49(1), 12-18. doi:10.1007/s10971-008-1847-4