Control of shape and size of poly (lactic acid) microspheres based on surfactant and polymer concentration

Barkha Singh, Pushpendra Singh, Andrew J. Sutherland, Kaushik Pal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biodegradable, poly (lactic acid) (PLA) microspheres have been synthesized via solvent evaporation method using ultrasonic homogenizer as emulsifier. The effect of added surfactant, PVA [poly (vinyl alcohol)], and PLA concentration on the shape and size of the resultant PLA microspheres has been studied. The prime objective of this work was to identify an optimal PVA/PLA concentration to prepare PLA microsphere with a size distribution of 1–2 micrometers as in many literature it has been reported as ideal range of size for non-endocytosis-mediated cellular drug delivery. In this pursuit it was found that an optimal concentration of 2.5% w/v of PVA into water and 2.5% w/v PLA into DCM [Dichloromethane] is suitable to create PLA microspheres with a size distribution of 1–2 micrometers. The PLA microspheres were characterized by FESEM to assess their shape and size. FT-IR analysis (Supplementary data) was used to assess the functional groups present in the PLA microspheres, whilst zeta-potential measurements (Supplementary data) provided insight into the likely dispersion properties of the microspheres in aqueous media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-51
Number of pages4
JournalMaterials Letters
Early online date21 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2017, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • poly (lactic acid)
  • PLA
  • microspheres
  • probe-based ultrasonication
  • FT-IR spectroscopy


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