Development and Characterization of a Gel Formulation Integrating Microencapsulated Nitrofurazone
Victor M. Balcao,
Milca G. Santos,
Paloma R. Martins,
Marco V. Chaud,
Jose M. de Oliveira Junior,
Marta M.D.C. Vila.
Nitrofurazone (NTZ) is usually employed in the topical treatment of infected wounds and lesions of both skin
and mucosa. Microencapsulation is a process utilized in the incorporation of active ingredients within polymers aiming at,
among other objectives, the prolonged release of pharmaceutical compounds and protection from atmospheric agents (viz.
moisture, light, heat and/or oxidation). With the goal of utilizing the microparticles containing encapsulated NTZ in
pharmaceutical formulations, one prepared microparticles containing NTZ via ionotropic gelation of sodium alginate. The
microparticles were characterized via scanning electron microscopy analyses, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy
(FTIR) analyses, via determination of encapsulation efficiency, and via thermal analyses (both TGA and DSC). The final
gel formulation was also characterized rheologically. The extrusion/solidification technique employed to obtain the calcium
alginate microparticles with encapsulated NTZ was found to be adequate, and produced an NTZ encapsulation efficiency
of ca. 97.8% ± 1.1%. The calcium alginate microparticles thus obtained, with encapsulated NTZ, exhibited an oval
shape and hydrodynamic diameters between 500 μm and 800 μm. From the thermal analyses performed, together with information
from the infrared spectra, one may conclude that NTZ did not strongly bind to the polymer, which may be favorable
for the release of the active ingredient. From the results obtained in the present research effort, one may conclude
that the microparticles produced possess the potential to be utilized as carriers for NTZ in pharmaceutical formulations
such as gels, ointments, and solutions.
Keywords: Antimicrobial topical applications, calcium alginate, ionotropic gelation, microencapsulation, microparticles, nitrofurazone.
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