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High Throughput Fabrication of Polymeric Microparticles

Steven Little, Chemical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 1237 Benedum Hall, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Polymeric microparticles fabricated via a double emulsion procedure are extremely desirable from a controlled release standpoint because they can encapsulate practically any combination of bioactive agents at high levels. This flexibility allows for combination therapies involving several agents, which may have synergistic effects. However, optimizing even a few of the available parameters can be a daunting task involving production of hundreds of formulations. Rapid methods for fabricating these formulations on a smaller scale are clearly needed. Herein we describe a new high-throughput method for fabricating microparticles by double emulsion using microplates and multitip agitation. Particles prepared using this technique had relatively high surface integrity and sizes were inversely dependant upon the concentration of PVA used in the outer aqueous phase. Fluorescence microscopy revealed that particles containing rhodamine conjugated dextran encapsulated relatively high quantities of payload. Transfection of a macrophage cell line using particles prepared with plasmid DNA indicated that materials can be encapsulated in a bioactive state. The speed in which this technique allows for microparticles to be fabricated could make the screening of libraries containing thousands of polymers a reality.