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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 472626, 11 pages
Research Article

Characterization of Antibiotic-Loaded Alginate-Osa Starch Microbeads Produced by Ionotropic Pregelation

1Escola de Química, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 21949-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Físicas, Rua Dr. Xavier Sigaud 150, 22290-180 Urca, RJ, Brazil

Received 22 October 2012; Accepted 2 May 2013

Academic Editor: Subrata Sinha

Copyright © 2013 Gizele Cardoso Fontes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study was to characterize the penicillin-loaded microbeads composed of alginate and octenyl succinic anhydride (OSA) starch prepared by ionotropic pregelation with calcium chloride and to evaluate their in vitro drug delivery profile. The beads were characterized by size, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), zeta potential, swelling behavior, and degree of erosion. Also, the possible interaction between penicillin and biopolymers was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis. The SEM micrograph results indicated a homogeneous drug distribution in the matrix. Also, based on thermal analyses (TGA/DSC), interactions were detected between microbead components. Although FTIR spectra of penicillin-loaded microbeads did not reveal the formation of new chemical entities, they confirmed the chemical drug stability. XRD patterns showed that the incorporated crystalline structure of penicillin did not significantly alter the primarily amorphous polymeric network. In addition, the results confirmed a prolonged penicillin delivery system profile. These results imply that alginate and OSA starch beads can be used as a suitable controlled-release carrier for penicillin.