Background: Targeted drug delivery to the colon is a strategic approach for the local
cure of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and other syndromes like colon cancer. Research is actively
focusing on possible alternative and safer therapies to conventional drugs, based on herbal
remedies and other natural products. In particular, colon-targeted drug delivery systems (CDDS) offer
the opportunity to protect the active compound along the way to the colon. Drug release and absorption,
and even degradation, should not occur in the stomach and small bowel, but a selective release
should start once the drug moves to the colonic area.
Objective: This work aims at evaluating the gastro-resistant properties of new food-grade
methacrylic resins (Eudraguard®), used not as coating materials, but used after the formation of microparticles
to achieve a delayed and targeted release of a model drug, resveratrol (RVT), to the
Methods: Microparticles were produced by an emulsion-solvent evaporation technique (ESE) and
characterized by solid-state analytical methods. RVT release profiles were assessed in vitro using a
pH-change procedure, able to simulate the transit of the carrier along the gastro-intestinal tract.
Results: Eudraguard® Biotic can form microparticles with a very high encapsulation efficiency for
RVT; the polymeric matrix was able to limit the diffusion of the drug at gastric and gut pH conditions,
while a higher release was achieved at pH 7.4. Conversely, using the Eudraguard® Control
resin, alone or blended with the former polymer, did not allow to achieve a controlled release of
RVT at the various pH values.
Conclusion: Food-grade Eudraguard® matrices deserve further investigations as polymeric materials
for the preparation of micrometric matrices or pellets for the oral controlled release of natural
active ingredients to the ileo-colonic area.