An in vitro gel-based system for characterizing and predicting the long-term performance of PLGA in situ forming implants

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In situ forming implants are exposed to an extracellular matrix resembling a gel rather than aqueous solution upon subcutaneous administration. The aim of study was to develop a gel-based release testing system for characterizing the long-term in vitro behavior of in situ forming implants. The gel-based system consisted of an agarose gel mimicking the subcutaneous injection site and a receiver layer comprising phosphate buffer. Poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) in situ forming implants containing leuprolide acetate as the model peptide and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) or triacetin as co-solvent were investigated. The gel-based release testing system discriminated between the formulations. Accelerated release data obtained at elevated temperatures were able to predict real-time release applying the Arrhenius equation. Monitoring of the microenvironmental pH of the implants was performed by UV–Vis imaging in the gel-based system at 50 °C. A pH drop (from pH 7.4 to 6.7 for the NMP and DMSO implants, to pH 5.5 for the triacetin implants) within the first day was observed, followed by an increase to pH ∼7.4. The gel-based system coupled with UV imaging offered opportunity for detailed evaluation and prediction of the in vitro performance of long-acting injectables, facilitating future development of in situ depot forming delivery systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121183
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Accelerated release, In situ forming implants, In vitro release testing model, microenvironmental pH, Solvent induced phase inversion, UV–Vis imaging

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