The hydrogel template method for fabrication of homogeneous nano/microparticles

Ghanashyam Acharya, Crystal S. Shin, Matthew McDermott, Himanshu Mishra, Haesun Park, Ick Chan Kwon, Kinam Park*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Nano/microparticles have been used widely in drug delivery applications. The majority of the particles are prepared by the conventional emulsion methods, which tend to result in particles with heterogeneous size distribution with sub-optimal drug loading and release properties. Recently, microfabrication methods have been used to make nano/microparticles with a monodisperse size distribution. The existing methods utilize solid templates for making particles, and the collection of individual particles after preparation has not been easy. The new hydrogel template approach was developed to make the particle preparation process simple and fast.The hydrogel template approach is based on the unique properties of physical gels that can undergo sol-gel phase transition upon changes in environmental conditions. The phase reversible hydrogels, however, are in general mechanically too weak to be treated as a solid material. It was unexpectedly found that gelatin hydrogels could be made to possess various properties necessary for microfabrication of nano/microparticles in large quantities. The size of the particles can be adjusted from 200. nm to >. 50.μ providing flexibility in controlling the size in drug delivery formulations. The simplicity in processing makes the hydrogel template method useful for scale-up manufacturing of particles. The drug loading capacity is 50% or higher, and yet the initial burst release is minimal. The hydrogel template approach presents a new strategy of preparing nano/microparticles of predefined size and shape with homogeneous size distribution for drug delivery applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-319
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported in part by the Showalter Trust Fund from Purdue Research Foundation and by the Global Research Laboratory Project of Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of South Korea .


  • Drug delivery
  • Homogeneous size
  • Hydrogel template
  • Microfabrication
  • Microparticle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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