Fabrication of PEG-PLGA Microparticles with Tunable Sizes for Controlled Drug Release Application

Paul Nana Kwame Sagoe, Eduardo José Machado Velázquez, Yohely Maria Espiritusanto, Amelia Gilbert, Thalma Orado, Qiu Wang, Era Jain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Polymeric microparticles of polyethyleneglycol-polylactic acid-co-glycolic acid (PEG-PLGA) are widely used as drug carriers for a variety of applications due to their unique characteristics. Although existing techniques for producing polymeric drug carriers offer the possibility of achieving greater production yield across a wide range of sizes, these methods are improbable to precisely tune particle size while upholding uniformity of particle size and morphology, ensuring consistent production yield, maintaining batch-to-batch reproducibility, and improving drug loading capacity. Herein, we developed a novel scalable method for the synthesis of tunable-sized microparticles with improved monodispersity and batch-to-batch reproducibility via the coaxial flow-phase separation technique. The study evaluated the effect of various process parameters on microparticle size and polydispersity, including polymer concentration, stirring rate, surfactant concentration, and the organic/aqueous phase flow rate and volume ratio. The results demonstrated that stirring rate and polymer concentration had the most significant impact on the mean particle size and distribution, whereas surfactant concentration had the most substantial impact on the morphology of particles. In addition to synthesizing microparticles of spherical morphology yielding particle sizes in the range of 5–50 µm across different formulations, we were able to also synthesize several microparticles exhibiting different morphologies and particle concentrations as a demonstration of the tunability and scalability of this method. Notably, by adjusting key determining process parameters, it was possible to achieve microparticle sizes in a comparable range (5–7 µm) for different formulations despite varying the concentration of polymer and volume of polymer solution in the organic phase by an order of magnitude. Finally, by the incorporation of fluorescent dyes as model hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs, we further demonstrated how polymer amount influences drug loading capacity, encapsulation efficiency, and release kinetics of these microparticles of comparable sizes. Our study provides a framework for fabricating both hydrophobic and hydrophilic drug-loaded microparticles and elucidates the interplay between fabrication parameters and the physicochemical properties of microparticles, thereby offering an itinerary for expanding the applicability of this method for producing polymeric microparticles with desirable characteristics for specific drug delivery applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6679
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • PEG
  • PLGA
  • coaxial flow
  • drug delivery
  • microparticles
  • phase separation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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