Hyaluronan (HA), a natural glycoaminoglycan featuring an extracellular matrix, has been suggested as an effective biocompatible material. In this study, the effectiveness of HA microparticles as a carrier system for antibiotics was evaluated, and their physicochemical characteristics were determined. Microparticles were fabricated by the gelation of sulfadiazine (SD) loaded HA solution with calcium chloride through either a granulation (GR-microparticles) or encapsulation (EN-microparticles) process, and atelocollagen was incorporated into the microparticles as an additive in order to improve their physical properties. The characteristics of the microparticles were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and swelling test. In vitro release experiments were performed for 7 days and the released amount of SD was determined using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Microscopic observations revealed that the collagen incorporated HA particles had a more compact surface than the HA particles. DSC analysis determined a loss of SD crystallinity in the particles. Calcium chloride retarded the swelling of particles, whereas the loaded drug contents did not affect this property. Both GR-and EN-microparticles sustained SD release with initial bursting effect. SD release from EN-microparticles was faster than from GR-microparticles. In addition, the release rate was dependent on the SD content in the microparticles. These results suggest that collagen modified HA microparticles have a potential as a release rate controlling material for crystalline drugs such as SD.
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