Mathematical modeling of drug delivery from autocatalytically degradable PLGA microspheres - A review

Ashlee N. Ford Versypt, Daniel W. Pack, Richard D. Braatz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

270 Scopus citations


PLGA microspheres are widely studied for controlled release drug delivery applications, and many models have been proposed to describe PLGA degradation and erosion and drug release from the bulk polymer. Autocatalysis is known to have a complex role in the dynamics of PLGA erosion and drug transport and can lead to size-dependent heterogeneities in otherwise uniformly bulk-eroding polymer microspheres. The aim of this review is to highlight mechanistic, mathematical models for drug release from PLGA microspheres that specifically address interactions between phenomena generally attributed to autocatalytic hydrolysis and mass transfer limitation effects. Predictions of drug release profiles by mechanistic models are useful for understanding mechanisms and designing drug release particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 10 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was made possible through the support of the National Institutes of Health ( NIBIB 5RO1EB005181 ) and the National Science Foundation (grant # 0426328 ). A.N. Ford Versypt acknowledges the support of the U.S. Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship Program of the Office of Science and National Nuclear Security Administration in the Department of Energy under contract DE-FG02-97ER25308 .


  • Autocatalysis
  • Bulk degradation
  • Controlled release drug delivery
  • Degradable polymer
  • Modeling
  • PLGA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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