Characterization of polymeric microcapsules containing a low molecular weight peptide for controlled release

Keith Moore, Jennifer Amos, Jeffrey Davis, Robert Gourdie, Jay D. Potts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract A need exists to prolong the release of rapidly metabolized peptides of a low molecular weight, while delivering this peptide without environmental interference. Previous studies have used bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a model peptide to study release characteristics from alginate microcapsules. BSA is 66 kDa in size, while the peptide of interest here, connexin-43 carboxyl-terminus mimetic peptide (αCT1), is only 3.4 kDa. Such a change in size results in a much different set of release parameters. Our overall goal is a sustained release over a 24+ h period. Prolonged application of the peptide to a wound site to investigate therapeutic effects is ideal. As a result, a diffusion method using alginate microcapsules, along with the addition of poly-l-lysine and poly-l-ornithine, has been explored. We first aimed to establish and characterize our parameters through a set of parametric tests. Variations in polymer coating, change in pH, and changes in loading ratio have previously been shown to effect release using model compounds. Here we test specific changes in these parameters to show effects on the release of αCT1. Additionally, the microcapsules were attached to several biomaterials and surgical implants by ultraviolet cross-linking to study the effectiveness of attachment and delivery. Analysis and measurements using phase contrast microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy were used to characterize changes in microcapsule morphology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-226
Number of pages14
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • connexin-43
  • electrohydrodynamics
  • electrospraying
  • gap junctions
  • Key words microencapsulation
  • poly-l-lysine
  • poly-l-ornithine
  • sodium alginate
  • zonula occludins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of polymeric microcapsules containing a low molecular weight peptide for controlled release'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this