Bee venom-loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) particles were prepared by double emulsion-solvent evaporation, and characterized for a sustained-release system. Factors such as the type of organic solvent, the amount of bee venom and PLGA, the type of PLGA, the type of polyvinyl alcohol, and the emulsification method were considered. Physicochemical properties, including the encapsulation efficiency, drug loading, particle size, zeta-potential and surface morphology were examined by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The size of the bee venom-loaded PLGA particles was 500 nm (measured using sonication). Zeta-potentials of the bee venom-loaded PLGA particles were negative owing to the PLGA. FT-IR results demonstrated that the bee venom was completely encapsulated in the PLGA particles, indicated by the disappearance of the amine and amide peaks. In addition, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis indicated that the bee venom in the bee venom-loaded PLGA particles was intact. In vitro release of the bee venom from the bee venom-loaded PLGA particles showed a sustained-release profile over 1 month. Bee venom-loaded PLGA particles can help improve patients' quality of life by reducing the number of injections required.
Keywords: Bee venom; PLGA; microparticle; sustained release.