Hemijska industrija 2003 Volume 57, Issue 12, Pages: 611-616
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Mechanical characterization of calcium pectinate hydrogel for controlled drug delivery

Chung Jin Thau, Zhibing Zhang

Calcium pectinate beads, a paniculate hydrogel system, is an attractive drug carrier for oral delivery. In this study, a poorly water-soluble model drug indomethacin was incorporated into calcium pectinate beads made of different pectin concentrations, which were produced by an extrusion method. The effect of pectin concentration on bead size, circularity, swelling behavior, and mechanical properties, as well as in vitro drug release profile was investigated. The mechanical properties of calcium pectinate beads were determined by a micromanipulation technique. The drug release profile was measured using a standard British Pharmacopoeia method. It was found that the beads made of higher pectin concentration in general had a less permeable matrix structure and greater mechanical rigidity, although they swelled more after hydration. However, such an effect was not significant when the pectin concentration was increased to above 8%. Micromanipulation measurements showed that there was significant relaxation of the force being imposed on single hydrated beads when they were held, but this phenomenon did not occur on dry beads, which means that the force relaxation was dominated by liquid loss from the beads. The rate of the force relaxation was determined, and has been related to the release rate of the model drug entrapped in the calcium pectinate beads.

Keywords: Calcium pectinate, Hydrogel, Controlled drug delivery, Mechanical property, Permeability, Micromanipulation

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