The biodegradation of zein in vitro and in vivo and its application in implants

Teng Lin, Chuanhua Lu*, Ligen Zhu, Tao Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


A unique polymer-based sustained-release implant drug delivery system was prepared by using biocompatible and biodegradable Zein as the skeleton meterial. After preparing Zein colloids, the Zein-loaded implant rods were formulated by injection molding followed by evaporating the solvent, and being coated with poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) solution. Drug release kinetics was examined by using Fluorouracil (5-FU) as model drug. Nearly zero-order release was achieved for the model drugs for a period of 0-25 days when the implants were incubated in distilled water at 37°C. And then the degradation kinetics of the rods in vivo and in vitro were evaluated, which indicated that Zein could be absorbed by body and has good degradation property. The effects of different ratios of Zein/5-FU and the rods' diameter on drug release were studied, respectively. The plasma concentration of 5-FU in the implants were determined by HPLC after implanting a single dose of the implants in rats. All data were subsequently processed by using the computer program 3P97, and the values were showed as follows: the area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) value was 321.88 (μg/ml)∈×∈day, and the mean residence time (MRT) value was 23.05 days. The sustained-release implants of Zein/5-FU were successfully formulated. The uniqueness of the article is that Zein has been used as a skeleton material in implant delivery system for the first time and zero-order release kinetics has been obtained successfully.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-176
Number of pages5
JournalAAPS PharmSciTech
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • degradation kinetics
  • implants
  • in vivo characteristics
  • zein


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