The poly[La-(Glc-Leu)] copolymer was applied in the present investigation as polymeric carrier to fabricate naltrexone (NTX)-loaded poly[La-(Glc-Leu)] microspheres in the single emulsion solvent evaporation technique for the long-term treatment of alcohol dependence. Newly synthesized poly[La-(Glc-Leu)] copolymer exhibited diminished crystallanity, good biocompatibility and favorable biodegradability to be explored for drug delivery application. Scanning Electron Microscopy study revealed smooth and spherical-shaped NTX-loaded polymeric microspheres with a mean size of 10-90 μm. Influence of various decisive formulation variables such as amount of polymer, stabilizer concentration, homogenization speed, homogenization time, drug loading and organic-to-aqueous phase ratio on particle size, and entrapment efficiency was studied. Differential scanning calorimeter and X-ray diffractometry study confirmed the drug entrapment within polymer matrix into the microsphere environment. In vitro drug release showed the sustained drug release of formulation for the period of 28 d giving biphasic release pattern. Histological examination of NTX-loaded poly[La-(Glc-Leu)] microspheres injected intramuscularly into the thigh muscle of Wistar rats showed minimal inflammatory reaction, demonstrating that NTX-loaded microspheres were biocompatible. Insignificant increase in the serum creatine phosphokinase level (p<0.05) as compared with the normal value revealed good muscle compatibility of the poly[La-(Glc-Leu)] microsphere system. Biocompatible nature and sustained drug-release action of poly[La-(Glc-Leu)] microspheres may have potential application in depot therapy. © 2014 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

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