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Critical Reviews™ in Therapeutic Drug Carrier Systems

Impact factor: 5.367

ISSN Print: 0743-4863
ISSN Online: 2162-660X

Critical Reviews™ in Therapeutic Drug Carrier Systems

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevTherDrugCarrierSyst.2013006475
pages 257-276

Poly(lactic-co-glycolic) Acid−Controlled-Release Systems: Experimental and Modeling Insights

Daniel J. Hines
Departments of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts
David L. Kaplan
Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts


Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) has been the most successful polymeric biomaterial used in controlled drug delivery systems. There are several different chemical and physical properties of PLGA that impact the release behavior of drugs from PLGA delivery devices. These properties must be considered and optimized in the formulation of drug release devices. Mathematical modeling is a useful tool for identifying, characterizing, and predicting mechanisms of controlled release. The advantages and limitations of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) for controlled release are reviewed, followed by a review of current approaches in controlled-release technology that utilize PLGA. Mathematical modeling applied toward controlled-release rates from PLGA-based devices also will be discussed to provide a complete picture of a state-of-the-art understanding of the control that can be achieved with this polymeric system, as well as the limitations.