In our previous work, we have studied the effect of lactose and sodium alginate (SA) on the rate of release of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) from ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) matrix. These hydrophilic additives promoted the rate of 5-FU release and the increase in rate was larger when SA was used. Both additives showed better ability to increase the rate than 5-FU itself. In this paper, we extended our study to another hydrophilic additive, Carbopol 940 (CP). Compared to SA or lactose, CP increased the rate of 5-FU release markedly. Release rate increased as the loading amount and the pH of the release medium increased. After release experiment, matrix volume increased up to 15 times of that before release experiment, depending on the amount of CP dispersed in the matrix and the pH of the release medium. On the other hand, the volume of the matrix containing lactose or SA decreased. The weight changes of the dry matrix before and after release experiment imply that CP is not released out of the matrix, to the contrary of lactose and SA. Scanning electron microscope study clearly showed that large cavities and pores are generated on the surface and the inside of the matrix. These results indicate that the mechanism by which CP increases the release rate is quite different from that of monomeric additives such as lactose or SA.
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