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The objective of the present work was to develop paclitaxel encapsulated mucoadhesive microcapsules with an aim to enhance its efficacy and control the drug release in cancer patients. Paclitaxel microcapsules with a coat consisting of sodium alginate and mucoadhesive polymer such as acacia, Carbomer 941, Povidone K-30, Macrogol (PEG 6000) were prepared by ionotropic gelation technique and were evaluated for morphological characters, drug content, loading efficiency, drug–polymer interactions, swelling ratio, mucoadhesive properties and in vitro drug release. The resulting microcapsules were discrete, spherical, and free-flowing with a particle size range of 534 to 822 µm. The microencapsulation efficiency was 45.09–99.83%. The microcapsules prepared with alginate along with macrogol (F4M) have exhibited good mucoadhesive property in the in vitro wash off test. The swelling ratio of microcapsules was enhanced with increased alginate concentration and the formulation (F4) showed highest swelling index of 2666. Paclitaxel release from these mucoadhesive microcapsules was slow and extended over a period of 6 h and further depends upon the concentration of the alginate. The percent drug release of alginate-acacia microcapsules (F4Ac) was higher than other formulations in the present study. In conclusion, alginate-acacia mucoadhesive microcapsules could be promising vehicle for oral controlled release of paclitaxel.
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