A side-by-side capillaries microfluidic device was developed to fabricate drug loaded poly(acrylamide)/poly(methyl acrylate) Janus particles in the range of 59-240 μm by UV-assisted free radical polymerization. This system was characterized in terms of continuous and dispersed phases flow rates (Qc/Qd), monomer composition of the two compartments, surfactant nature and concentration, outlet tube diameter and UV intensity. These factors were adequately controlled to get different particle shapes ranging from core-shell to bi-compartmental particles. For the latter, a low surfactant concentration (0.75 wt.%) was necessary when the two dispersed phases were pumped at equal flow rate, while at high surfactant concentration, dispersed phases flow rates have to be changed. FTIR analysis suggested complete polymerization of monomers and cytotoxicity test showed these particles were biocompatible having LD 50 of 9 mg/mL. Both ketoprofen and sodium fluorescein were released in sustained release manner at pH 6.8 by following a diffusion type release mechanism. Drug release was faster for bigger particles and found to result from the irregular distribution of the two phases and indentation on bigger particles as revealed by SEM analysis. In comparison, sodium fluorescein release was slower which was attributed to low encapsulation but could be modified by decreasing crosslinker concentration.
Keywords: Cytotoxicity; Drug delivery; Janus particles; Microfluidics; Poly(acrylamide); Poly(methyl acrylate).
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