A reservoir-type controlled release device using aqueous-organic partitioning and a porous membrane

S. Farrell, K. K. Sirkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A reservoir-type controlled release device based on aqueous-organic partitioning is described. The reservoir is bounded by a microporous or porous membrane, either a hollow fiber or a flat film. The agent partitions between phases at the aqueous-organic interface of the reservoir and the pore mouth, and then diffuses through the membrane pore into a surrounding aqueous solution. The partition coefficient significantly influences the rate of release of the agent. The performance of the system is evaluated using model agents. Controlled release from a reservoir containing a pure organic liquid agent is demonstrated using toluene. Zero-order release is achieved for benzoic acid partitioning from an organic reservoir into water-filled pores, and for nicotine partitioning from an aqueous reservoir into organic-filled pores. Studies using benzoic acid demonstrate the effectiveness of a thin, nonporous coating on slowing the rate of release. A fast-dissolving suspension of benzoic acid in decanol extends the duration of zero-order release. Two agents, nicotine and caffeine, are released simultaneously and independently from a divided reservoir. A simplified mathematical model is presented, and experimental results compared well with those predicted by the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 23 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


  • Controlled release
  • Microporous and porous membranes
  • Reservoir system
  • Solubility and partitioning
  • Suspension


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