Cells and Materials


This review covers the applications of electron microscopic techniques to the characterization and evaluation of drug delivery systems. Various electron microscopic (EM) related techniques such as transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), SEM with energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis, and freeze-fracture electron microscopy are extensively used for this purpose. Microcapsules, microspheres, nanocapsules, liposomes , polymeric carriers and other drug delivery systems are characterized using EM related techniques for their surface topography, size and shape analysis, biodegradation, in vitro - in vivo evaluation and drug excipient interactions and characterization. Electron microscopy methods are very useful in understanding the mechanism of drug carrier formation, drug release in in vitro - in vivo situations, and drug carrier - body fluid interactions. EM techniques have also been used to study ultra-structural disposition of drug carriers in body compartments.