Preparation Of Biodegradable Polycaprolactone Microcapsules by Membrane Emulsification

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Alaa Kaabneh
Amani Abd-Allah
Aysha Hilo
Olfat Khatatbeh
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Polymeric biodegradable microcapsules have received much attention in the recent years because of their potential applications in the pharmaceutical field. The objective of the current study is to prepare biodegradable polymer microcapsules using premix membrane emulsification. In this method, a polymer solution consists of biodegradable polymer (polycaprolactone) /solvent (dichloromethane) /poor solvents (decane) mixed with continuous phase that consists of non-solvent (water) and surfactant to get primary (premix) emulsion. The premix emulsion is then pressed through aporous bed of sand beads for several cycles. This causes large droplets to divide inside the porous media and slowly reduce the size. The size of the resulting microcapsules was analyzed using optical microscope and the results showed that the size of the capsules decreased after passing the premix emulsion through the sand beads. The effect size of the sand particles and the thickness of the sand bed were investigated and the results showed that decreasing the size of the sand particles or increasing the bed height decreases the size of the microcapsules. The resulted average sizes of microcapsules at different sizes of sand 150 m, 300 m, 600 m were (4.7 m), (6.1m), (3.9 m) respectively. In another way, mixtures of the three different sizes of the beads were used to make a bed of 4 cm total height., where size of particles gradually increased or decreased(i.e 3layers with 1.3 cm for each, bottom layer of 150 m and the upper one of 600 micro) or  a random mixture of the 3 sizes. it was found that the average size of the microcapsules prepared with a bed of random mixture of sand beads was ( 5.9m), and for the beads  which arranged by gradual decrease configuration was (7.3m) while for   and gradual increase configuration was (3.5m).