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Publication Detail
The Effect of Solvent Vapor Annealing on Drug-Loaded Electrospun Polymer Fibers
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
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  • Authors:
    Chiu , Zhang , Dziemidowicz , Nikoletopoulos , Angkawinitwong , Chen , Williams
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    Published online
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Electrospinning has emerged as a powerful strategy to develop controlled release drug delivery systems but the effects of post-fabrication solvent vapor annealing on drug-loaded electrospun fibers have not been explored to date. In this work, electrospun poly(ԑ-caprolactone) (PCL) fibers loaded with the hydrophobic small-molecule spironolactone (SPL) were explored. Immediately after fabrication, the fibers are smooth and cylindrical. However, during storage the PCL crystallinity in the fibers is observed to increase, demonstrating a lack of stability. When freshly-prepared fibers are annealed with acetone vapor, the amorphous PCL chains recrystallize, resulting in the fiber surfaces becoming wrinkled and yielding shish-kebab like structures. This effect does not arise after the fibers have been aged. SPL is found to be amorphously dispersed in the PCL matrix both immediately after electrospinning and after annealing. In vitro dissolution studies revealed that while the fresh fibers show a rapid burst of SPL release, after annealing more extended release profiles are observed. Both the rate and extent of release can be varied through changing the annealing time. Further, the annealed formulations are shown to be stable upon storage.
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