ABSTRACT- The objective of our present study was to develop multiparticulate gastro retentive drug delivery system
of Curcumin. The gastro retentive drug delivery system can be formulated to improve the absorption and bio-availability
of curcumin by retaining the system into the stomach for prolonged period of time. The floating drug delivery system of
curcumin was prepared by emulsion solvent diffusion method by using ethyl cellulose, Eudragit L100, HPMC, Phyllium
husk polymers in varying concentration. Formulations were evaluated for percent yield, particle size, entrapment
efficiency, in vitro buoyancy as well as in vitro release studies. The optimized formulations show good buoyancy and in
vitro controlled release of Curcumin.
Key-words- Floating microsphere, Ethyl cellulose, Hydroxypropyl Methyl cellulose (HPMC), Eudragit L 100, Phyllium husk
In the past, herbal drugs did not attract researchers’
interest for the development of novel drug delivery
systems due to difficulties in processing (including
standardization, extraction and identify- cation). Recently
however, with the advances in technology, new doors have
been opened for the development of herbal drug delivery
The floating microspheres beneficially alter the absorption
of a drug, thus enhancing its bioavailability. They prolong
dosing intervals which would allow development of once a
day formulations and thereby increase patient compliance
beyond the level of existing dosage forms by achieving
control over gastric residence time [2-3]. Floating
microspheres are gastro-retentive drug delivery systems
based on a non-effervescent approach. These micro
spheres are characteristically free- flowing powders
having a size < 199 µm and remains buoyant over gastric
contents for a prolonged period.
As the system floats over gastric contents, the drug is
released slowly at the desired rate, resulting in increased
gastric retention with reduced fluctuations in plasma drug
Studies have revealed that curcumin has broad range of
therapeutic activities, including anti-inflammatory,
antibacterial, antifungal, anticancer, antispasmodic and
antioxidant Curcumin (isolated from Curcuma longa) is the
active ingredient of the spice, turmeric, used in cooking in
India and other regions of Asia. The origin of the Curcuma
longa L. plant (Family: Zingiberaceae) is India country.
Curcumin is a potent phytomolecule with a wide range of
biological activities and shows low absorption . It was
selected for this study because it’s poorly absorbed in the
lower GIT and has a short elimination half-life of 0.39 h.
The poor bioavailability (<1%) of the molecule owing to its
insolubility at gastric pH and degradation at alkaline pH of
intestine in the humans, has severely limited its clinical
application. High oral doses (8 g/day) in humans result in
Cmax of <2 M, and short half life (28 min) limit its use via
the oral route .
To develop a drug delivery system for oral administration,
the preferred route of administration, it is necessary to
optimize not only the release rate from the system but also
the residence time of the system in gastrointestinal tract
organ . Various oral delivery systems have been
developed including polymeric matrices, osmotic tablets,
and microcapsules. However, limited number of
approaches has been pursued to extend the residence time
of the delivery system within the GIT. Hydrodynamically
Balanced System (HBS) or Floating drug delivery system
(FDDS) is among the numerous approaches that have been
developed in order to increase the gastric residence time
(GRT) of dosage forms . Development of floating
delivery system involves use of many low density
polymers. EC, HPMC, and Eudragit L and Phyllium husk
are such low density polymers. Many controlled release
dosage forms utilize hydrophilic polymers for retarding
drug release. The mechanism of drug release is dependent
on the swelling as well as dissolution process. In this case
the early part of the release process is marked by the
swelling due to the conversion of the polymer from a glassy
to a rubbery state due to water penetration.
The floating microspheres beneficially alter the absorption
of a drug, thus enhancing its bioavailability. They are
prolong dosing intervals which would allow development
of once a day formulations and thereby increase patient
compliance beyond the level of existing dosage forms by
achieving control over gastric residence time. Floating
microspheres are gastro-retentive drug delivery systems
based on a non-effervescent approach. These micro-spheres
are characteristically free-flowing powders having a size
<199 µm & remain buoyant over gastric contents for a
prolonged period. As the system floats over gastric
contents, the drug is released slowly at desired rate,
resulting in increased gastric retention with reduced
fluctuations in plasma drug concentration.
Curcumin is a potent phytomolecule with wide range of
biological activity [9-10] possess a low absorption . It is
poorly absorbed in the lower GIT and has short elimination
half life ~0.39 hour. The aim of the present investigation
was to formulate the floating microspheres of curcumin in
order to achieve a prolonged retention in the upper GIT,
which may result in enhanced absorption and thereby
improved bioavailability. The prepared microspheres were
evaluated for yield, in vitro release, size, and buoyancy and
incorporation efficiency. The effect of various formulation
variables on the size and drug release was studied.
MATERIALS AND METHODS-
Curcumin was purchased from Aushadhi Herbal, Delhi,
Ethyl Cellulose from Central drug house, New Delhi,
Eudragit L100 and N.K.B.R. College of pharmacy, Meerut.
Whereas, Phyllium husk purchased from Herbo-pharma
India Meerut, HPMC also from N.K.B.R. Meerut, India.
Preparation of floating microspheres-
Floating microspheres were prepared by emulsion solvent
diffusion method . The drug and polymer blends were
mixed in the solvent (ethanol/dichloride-methane, 1:1) as
per the composition in Table 1. The resulting slurry was
introduced into a 250 ml beaker containing 200 ml 0.2 %
sodium lauryl sulfate SLS & stirred at 750 rpm with a
mechanical stirrer for 1 hour at room temp. The floating
micro-spheres were collected by decantation, washed thrice
with n-hexane, dried overnight in an oven at 40 ± 2?C, and
stored in a desiccators containing calcium chloride as
Table 1: Composition of batches of floating micro
spheres of Curcumin
In-vitro evaluation of floating microspheres of
Curcumin determination of percent yield-
|| Curcumin (mg)
||Ethyl Cellulose (mg)
|| Eudragit L 100
||F-1 ||100 ||200 ||- ||- ||-|
||F-2 ||100 ||400 ||- ||- ||-|
||F-3 ||100 ||800 ||- ||- ||-|
|| F-4 ||100 ||100 ||100 ||- ||-|
||F-5 ||100 ||200 ||200 ||- ||-|
||F-6 ||100 ||100 ||400 ||- ||200|
||F-7 ||100 ||- ||- ||100 ||100|
||F-8 ||100 ||- ||- ||200 ||200|
||F-9 ||100 ||- ||- ||400 ||200|
Thoroughly dried microspheres were collected as well as
weighed accurately. Then the percentage yield was
Determination of entrapment efficiency-
The drug content of Curcumin loaded microspheres was
determined by dispersing 100 mg microspheres in 10 ml of
ethanol, which was stirred with a magnetic bead for 8 hours
to extract the drug. The samples were diluted and analyzed
spectrophotometrically at 421 nm and the percentage drug
entrapment was calculated.
Particle size analysis-
Particle size of prepared microspheres was measured using
an optical microscope, and the mean particle size was
calculated by measuring 100 particles with the help of a
calibrated ocular micrometer 
Floating behaviour (Buoyancy)-
50 mg of the microspheres were placed in 100 ml of
simulated gastric fluid (pH 1.2) containing 0.02% w/v
tween 20. The mixture w as stirred at 100 rpm on a
magnetic stirrer. After 4 h, the layer of buoyant
microspheres was pipette and seprated by filtration particle
in the sinking particulate layer were also seprated by
filtration. Particles of both types were dried in desiccators.
Both the fractions of microspheres were weighed and
buoyancy was determined by the weight ratio of floating
particles to the sum of floating and sinking particles 
Characterization of Microspheres by Scanning
Electron Microscopy (SEM)-
The surface topography and internal textures of the
microspheres was observed by scanning electron
In- vitro dissolution studies in 0.1N HCl-
The in- vitro
dissolution studies were carried out by using
USP XXI V paddle type dissolution apparatus. Weighed
amount of drug loaded floating microspheres was
introduced into 900 ml 0 .1 N HCl, used as a dissolution
medium, maintained at 37 ±0.5°C at a rotation speed of 100
rpm. The samples were withdrawn at predetermined time
intervals. First two samples were withdrawn at 30 min.
Interval and next 11 samples were withdrawn at 1 hour
interval. The samples were analyzed
spectrophotometrically at 430 nm to determine the
concentration of drug present 
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:
All batches find a percentage yield of greater than 70%,
whereas five batches showed a yield of more than 80%.
Percentage yield is found to be higher with formulation of
high amount of polymer. Results showed that percentage
yield increases with increase in the amount of polymer.
All batches find percent entrapment more than 50 % and it
is found that entrapment of drug increases with an increase
in the amount of the polymer. For emulation F-6 shows
maximum entrapment, whereas formulation F-7 shows
minimum entrapment of the curcumin.
Particle size analysis-
Results showed that particle size of prepared microspheres
was in the range of 130 ± 20 µm to 226 ± 25 µm. It was
concluded that with increase in polymer concentration.
Study of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)-
Results showed that ethyl cellulose microspheres of
ketorolac trometamol were predominantly spherical in
shape with smooth surface. The porous nature and
characteristics internal structure of the microspheres, a
hollow cavity inside enclosed with the rigid shell
constructed with drug and polymer was clearly evident.
Ethyl cellulose, Phyllium husk and HPMC based floating
microspheres were found to be much more elongated in
nature than microspheres prepared by using Phyllium husk
and Eudragit L100. The porous nature and cavity formed in
the microspheres would dictate the floating behaviour of
microspheres of Curcumin as shown in Fig 1.
Fig 1: SEM photomicrographs of batch F-6
Floating ability (Percent buoyancy)-
The formulated batches of floating microspheres of
curcumin showed average buoyancy more than
53%.Amongst the batches of prepared microspheres, batch
F-6 showed highest buoyancy (72.53%). Further it was
observed that in case of ethyl cellulose, Phyllium husk and
HPMC based microspheres, buoyancy was high, as
compared with only ethyl cellulose based microspheres
Table 2: It shows characterization of various batches of
floating microspheres of Curcumin
Table 3: It shows Dissolution profiles of batches of Floating microspheres of Curcumin
||Production yield %
||Entrapment efficiency %
||Buoyancy % age
||Mean particle size (µm)|
|1. ||F-1 ||82.8 ||54.12 ||65.75 ||10|
|2. ||F-2 ||84.6 ||66.42 ||62.54 ||17|
|3.||F-3 ||85.9 ||73.12 ||69.45 ||24|
|4. ||F-4 ||77.5 ||63.25 ||60.23 ||30|
|5. ||F-5 ||80.8 ||73.67 ||70.22 ||35|
|6. ||F-6 ||82.6 ||80.45 ||72.53 ||41|
|7. ||F-7 ||72.3 ||50.64 ||53.86 ||47|
|8. ||F-8 ||75.7 ||60.76 ||55.14 ||53|
|9. ||F-9 ||77.6 ||77.61 ||58.65 ||60|
||Time (mins) ||F-1 ||F-2 ||F-3 ||F-4 ||F-5 ||F-6 ||F-7 ||F-8 ||F-9|
||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0 ||0|
||30 ||14.57 ||11.75 ||10.97 ||10.34 ||7.65 ||6.89 ||15.78 ||14.12 ||11.78|
||60 ||21.50 ||19.20 ||16.76 ||15.67 ||13.45 ||11.67 ||22.54 ||20.67 ||18.98|
||120 ||29.12||27.12 ||24.22 ||25.67 ||21.34 ||17.54 ||31.34 ||29.67 ||26.56|
||180 ||35.16||33.47 ||31.97 ||30.77 ||26.55 ||24.65 ||37.16 ||34.78 ||32.76|
||240 ||41.15||39.21 ||37.67 ||36.88 ||32.56 ||30.76 ||43.67 ||41.34 ||38.65|
||300 ||48.30||44.12 ||41.34 ||43.45 ||39.56 ||34.67 ||49.56 ||47.45 ||44.87|
||360 ||54.12||48.24 ||46.34 ||50.34 ||44.67 ||39.76 ||55.76 ||53.34 ||50.78|
||420 ||59.45||54.32 ||52.34 ||54.76 ||50.78 ||44.74 ||61.56 ||59.65 ||56.45|
||480 ||64.23||61.72 ||59.67 ||60.87 ||55.78 ||50.45 ||65.35 ||63.55 ||60.45|
||540 ||71.22||65.43 ||63.23 ||63.45 ||60.67 ||56.34 ||73.23 ||71.45 ||63.78|
||600 ||75.23||69.78 ||67.91 ||67.34 ||65.87 ||60.23 ||76.56 ||73.67 ||67.63|
||660 ||80.23||74.26 ||70.67 ||70.67 ||70.65 ||65.45 ||82.56 ||79.67 ||70.45|
||720 ||86.43||78.23 ||74.23 ||74.53 ||75.56 ||70.12 ||89.67 ||82.76 ||74.87|
Graph 1: Shows effect of different polymer on dissolution profiles
The data obtained for in vitro
release were fitted into
equations for the zero order, first order, Korsmeyer Peppas
and Higuchi release models. The interpretation of data was
based on the value of the resulting regression coefficients.
The in vitro drug release showed the highest regression
coefficient values for Korsmeyer Peppas model. It indicates
that non-fickcian diffusion is the mechanism of drug
In a previous study Rahman et al 
microspheres of curcumin using HPMC K100 and
poloxamer 188 using emulsion/solvent evaporation
method. Studies concluded that curcumin loaded floating
microspheres can be used as a drug delivery system to
improve the absorption kinetics of curcumin.
Curcumin floating microspheres were successfully
developed using emulsion solvent diffusion method. The
microspheres had good yield and showed high, drug
entrapment efficiency. The flow properties of microspheres
were within the acceptable range and therefore would be
easily filled into capsules. Release properties were
satisfactory and the formulations hold promise for further
development into drug delivery systems for the oral
administration of curcumin.
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|How to cite this article:|
Kumar A, Tiwari BK, Kant R: A Study on Formulation of Multiparticulate Gastro Retentive Drug Delivery System of
Curcumin. Int. J. Life. Sci. Scienti. Res., 2017; 3(2): 909-913. DOI:10.21276/ijlssr.2017.3.2.6
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