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Improved delivery of PLGA microparticles and microparticle-cell scaffolds in clinical needle gauges using modified viscosity formulations

Qutachi, Omar; Wright, Emma J.; Bray, Gemma; Hamid, Omar A.; Rose, Felicity R.A.J.; Shakesheff, Kevin; Delcassian, Derfogail


Omar Qutachi

Emma J. Wright

Gemma Bray

Omar A. Hamid

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Professor of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering

Kevin Shakesheff

Derfogail Delcassian


Polymer microparticles are widely used as acellular drug delivery platforms in regenerative medicine, and have emerging potential as cellular scaffolds for therapeutic cell delivery. In the clinic, PLGA microparticles are typically administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously, with the clinician and clinical application site determining the precice needle gauge used for delivery. Here, we explored the role of needle diameter in microparticle delivery yield, and develop a modified viscosity formulation to improve microparticle delivery across a range of clinically relevent needle diameters. We have identified an optimal biocompatible formulation containing 0.25% pluronic F127 and 0.25% carboxymethyl cellulose, which can increase delivery payload to 520% across needle gauges 21-30G, and note that needle diameter impacts delivery efficacy. We use this formulation to increase the delivery yield of PLGA microparticles, and seperately, PLGA-cell scaffolds supporting viable mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), demonstrating the first in vitro delivery of this cell scaffold system. Together, these results highlight an optimal formulation for the delivery of microparticle and microparticle-cell scaffolds, and illustrate how careful choice of delivery formulation and needle size can dramatically impact delivery payload.


Qutachi, O., Wright, E. J., Bray, G., Hamid, O. A., Rose, F. R., Shakesheff, K., & Delcassian, D. (2018). Improved delivery of PLGA microparticles and microparticle-cell scaffolds in clinical needle gauges using modified viscosity formulations. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 546(1-2), 272-278.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 9, 2018
Online Publication Date May 10, 2018
Publication Date Jul 30, 2018
Deposit Date May 18, 2018
Publicly Available Date May 11, 2019
Journal International Journal of Pharmaceutics
Print ISSN 0378-5173
Electronic ISSN 1873-3476
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 546
Issue 1-2
Pages 272-278
Keywords High viscosity formulation; Microparticle delivery; Cell particle scaffolds; Needle gauge
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