Sterilization processes ensure sterility of drug delivery systems, but may negatively affect the properties of biomaterials and incorporated drugs by changing their physical, chemical, mechanical properties and drug release behaviour. Therefore, it is important to investigate their influence. In this study, the influence of ethylene oxide (EtO) sterilization on the drug loading and release behaviour of incorporated Diclofenac (DCF) in a Poly-L-lactide (PLLA) coating and Dexamethasone (DMS) in the silicone carrier is presented. Silicone samples containing DMS were coated with PLLA containing DCF varying in layer thickness (5, 10, and 20 μm). Half of the samples underwent EtO sterilization, the other half was not sterilized. All un-/sterilized sample surfaces were in view of the morphology and hydrophilicity examined. Furthermore, in vitro release studies of DMS and DCF were conducted. The sterilized sample surfaces showed no morphological and hydrophilicity changes. The DCF and DMS loadings were similar for the sterile and untreated samples. This also applied to the in vitro DMS release profiles apart from the end of the studies where slight differences were evident. The results indicate that both drugs loaded in the polymer coating and the silicone were not impaired by the sterilization process. Thus, EtO sterilization appears suitable for DMS containing silicone and DCF incorporated PLLA coatings as a dual drug delivery system.
© 2021 The Author(s), published by Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
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