“While a variety of devices have been used for controlled release drug delivery, biodegradable polymer microspheres are one of the most common types and hold several advantages.”
– Kim and Pack. BioMEMS and Biomedical Nanotechnology. 2006; 19
“Good things come in small packages.” This is certainly true of injectable products that use microparticles. Injectables that use microparticles are an effective way to deliver drugs and are becoming increasingly more common. Such products are used in multiple fields and formulations.
Scientists use injectables with microparticles in a variety of fields ranging from diabetes to alcohol dependence. One example is Bydureon, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist used in addition to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes. On the other end of the spectrum is Trelstar, a gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist used for palliative treatment of prostate cancer. Injectables that use microparticles can also be found in mental health, as shown by Risperdal Consta, a long-acting injectable used to treat schizophrenia and Bipolar I Disorder.
Injectable products that use microparticles not only span multiple fields, but also multiple formulations. Nutropin Depot, an injectable formerly used to treat growth hormone deficiency, consisted of micronized particles of rhGH embedded in biocompatible, biodegradable, polylactide-coglycolide microspheres. This formulation was given subcutaneously once or twice each month. Sandostatin LAR Depot, on the other hand, is a long-acting dosage form that contains ocreotide and is made of microspheres of the biodegradable glucose star polymer, D,L-lactic and glycolic acids copolymer.
The StratµmTM technology takes microparticle products a step further by providing a scalable method to make uniform microparticles and microcapsules. Traditional spray technologies are often inadequate for controlled-release applications because they produce a broad particle size distribution and cannot achieve small particle sizes when using viscous solutions. In contrast, Stratµm technology creates precise particle sizes using almost any drug and encapsulating material solutions. Stratµm technology can achieve a wide range of particle sizes (10 µm to >1 mm) with precise control over particle size and can also produce core-shell microcapsule morphologies from a wide variety of materials.
Injectable products that use microparticles are becoming more common, and scientists use them in multiple fields and formulations. Their usefulness in treating so many diseases and disorders demonstrates the effectiveness of the tiny microspheres and proves that sometimes, the best things come in small packages.