Microwave Synthesis of Nanostructured Functionalized Polylactic Acid (nfPLA) for Incorporation Into a Drug Crystals to Enhance Their Dissolution

Mohammad Saiful Islam, Somenath Mitra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Active pharmaceutical ingredients that have low aqueous solubility pose a challenge in the field of drug delivery. In this paper we report for the first time the synthesis of nano-structured, hydrophilized polylactic acid (nfPLA) and its application in the delivery of low solubility drugs. Microwave induced acid oxidation was used to generate nfPLA where the oxygen concentration increased from 27.0 percent to 41.0 percent. Also, the original non dispersible PLA was converted to a relatively dispersible form with an average particle size of 131.4 nm and a zeta potential of -23.3 mV. Small quantities of the nfPLA were incorporated into the crystals (0.5 to 2.0 % by weight) of a highly hydrophobic, low solubility antifungal drug Griseofulvin (GF) to form a composite (GF-nfPLA). An antisolvent approach was used for the synthesis of the drug composite. SEM and Raman imaging showed non-uniform distribution of the nfPLA on the crystal surface. The solubility of GF increased from 8.89 µg/mL to as high as 49.67 µg/mL for the GF-nfPLA. At the same time zeta potential changed from -15.4 mV to -39.0 mV, therefore the latter was a relatively stable colloid. Octanol-water partitioning also showed a similar effect as logP reduced from 2.16 for pure GF to 0.55 for GF-nfPLA. In vitro dissolution testing showed six times higher aqueous solubility of GF-nfPLA compared to pure GF. The time for 50 (T50) and 80 % (T80) dissolution reduced significantly for the nfPLA composites; T50 reduced from 40.0 to 14.0 min and T80 reduced form unachievable to 47.0 min. Overall, the PLA which is an FDA approved, bioabsorbable polymer can be used to enhance the dissolution of hydrophobic pharmaceuticals and this can lead to higher efficacy and lower the required dosage for drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2260-2266
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science


  • Bioavailability
  • Biodegradable polymer
  • Dissolution enhancement
  • Hydrophobic griseofulvin
  • Microwave functionalization
  • nfPLA


Dive into the research topics of 'Microwave Synthesis of Nanostructured Functionalized Polylactic Acid (nfPLA) for Incorporation Into a Drug Crystals to Enhance Their Dissolution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this