Acta Pharm. 54 (2004) 103-118

[ Full paper in PDF ]
Original research paper  

Influence of polymerization technique and experimental variables on the particle properties and release kinetics of methotrexate from poly(butylcyanoacrylate) nanoparticles


Drug Delivery Research Laboratory, Pharmacy Department, GH Patel Building, M.S. University of Baroda-390001, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
Received June 18, 2003      Accepted February 26, 2004

Poly(butylcyanoacrylate) nanoparticles were prepared by dispersion polymerization (DP) and emulsion polymerization (EP) of n-butyl cyanoacrylate monomer. The particles were characterized by infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffractometry and transmission electron microscopy. Particle properties such as size and zeta potential were determined for nanoparticles prepared by DP and EP techniques and compared. EP technique resulted in a low particle size compared to the DP. A high zeta potential was observed for nanoparticles prepared by the DP method. Incorporation of methotrexate resulted in a decrease in zeta potential in both types of nanoparticles, the decrease being greater in DP nanoparticles. Effect of experimental variables such as monomer concentration, polymerization time and temperature on drug entrapment and particle size was studied. Both types of nanoparticles showed an increase in drug entrapment with increased monomer concentrations. Variable polymerization time did not influence the drug entrapment of EP nanoparticles. Polymerization at 60 2 C resulted in a decrease of drug entrapment and a great increase in the particle size of both types of nanoparticles. In vitro drug release studies showed a comparatively high release of methotrexate from DP nanoparticles suggesting the channelizing effect of dextran chains incorporated into nanoparticles during polymerization. Though the release profiles of nanoparticles appeared similar, a significant difference in release rates was found for DP and EP nanoparticles in 0.1 mol L-1 HCl and pH 7.4 phosphate buffer (p < 0.01). Drug release data indicate that the release of methotrexate from DP and EP nanoparticles followed Fickian diffusion in 0.1 mol L-1 HCl, while the mechanism was found anomalous in pH 7.4 phosphate buffer. An effort was also made to critically correlate the properties of nanoparticles synthesized by the above two techniques, and emphasize the importance of these characteristics in targeted drug delivery.

Keywords: dispersion polymerization, emulsion polymerization, nanoparticles, poly(butylcyanoacrylate), particle properties, methotrexate, drug release