3D High Spatial Resolution Visualisation and Quantification of Interconnectivity in Polymer Films.

C Fager, S Barman, M Röding, A Olsson, N Lorén, C von Corswant, D Bolin, H Rootzén, E Olsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A porous network acts as transport paths for drugs through films for controlled drug release. The interconnectivity of the network strongly influences the transport properties. It is therefore important to quantify the interconnectivity and correlate it to transport properties for control and design of new films. This work presents a novel method for 3D visualisation and analysis of interconnectivity. High spatial resolution 3D data on porous polymer films for controlled drug release has been acquired using a focused ion beam (FIB) combined with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The data analysis method enables visualisation of pore paths starting at a chosen inlet pore, dividing them into groups by length, enabling a more detailed quantification and visualisation. The method also enables identification of the central features of the porous network by quantification of channels where pore paths coincide. The method was applied to FIB-SEM data of three leached ethyl cellulose (EC)/hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) films with different weight percentages. The results from the analysis were consistent with the experimentally measured release properties of the films. The interconnectivity and porosity increase with increasing amount of HPC. The bottleneck effect was strong in the leached film with lowest porosity.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119622
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
StatePublished - Jul 15 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF). The authors are grateful for the financial support. We wish to thank AstraZeneca for providing the material and Chalmers Material Analysis Laboratory for their support of microscopes. We also thank Prof. Aila Särkkä and everyone involved in the SSF project for valuable feedback; and for the feedback given at workshops organized by the Chalmers center SuMo Biomaterials and within the project COSIMA, both funded by Vinnova.


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