Background: Bacterial cellulose (BC) has recently attained greater interest in various research fields,
including drug delivery for biomedical applications. BC has been studied in the field of drug delivery, such as
tablet coating, controlled release systems and prodrug design.
Objective: In the current work, we tested the feasibility of BC as a drug carrier in microparticulate form for potential
pharmaceutical and biomedical applications.
Methods: For this purpose, drug-loaded BC microparticles were prepared by simple grinding and injection
moulding method through regeneration. Model drugs, i.e., cloxacillin (CLX) and cefuroxime (CEF) sodium salts
were loaded in these microparticles to assess their drug loading and release properties. The prepared microparticles
were evaluated in terms of particle shapes, drug loading efficiency, physical state of the loaded drug, drug
release behaviour and antibacterial properties.
Results: The BC microparticles were converted to partially amorphous state after regeneration. Moreover, the
loaded drug was transformed into the amorphous state. The results of scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
showed that microparticles had almost spherical shape with a size of ca. 350-400 μm. The microparticles treated
with higher drug concentration (3%) exhibited higher drug loading. Keeping drug concertation constant, i.e., 1%,
the regenerated BC (RBC) microparticles showed higher drug loading (i.e., 37.57±0.22% for CEF and
33.36±3.03% for CLX) as compared to as-synthesized BC (ABC) microparticles (i.e., 9.46±1.30% for CEF and
9.84±1.26% for CLX). All formulations showed immediate drug release, wherein more than 85% drug was released
in the initial 30 min. Moreover, such microparticles exhibited good antibacterial activity with larger zones
of inhibition for drug loaded RBC microparticles as compared to corresponding ABC microparticles.
Conclusion: Drug loaded BC microparticles with immediate release behaviour and antibacterial activity were
fabricated. Such functionalized microparticles may find potential biomedical and pharmaceutical applications.