Formulation and processability screening for the rational design of ethylene-vinyl acetate based intra-vaginal rings

I. Koutsamanis, S. Eder, M. Beretta, A. Witschnigg, A. Paudel, K. Nickisch, M. Friedrich, K. Eggenreich, E. Roblegg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The application of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymers in reservoir-type intra-vaginal rings (IVRs) offers advantages over silicones including i) versatile properties, ii) absence of curing chemistry, and iii) continuous and flexible processing via co-extrusion. Thus, we investigated the capability of EVA based IVRs to deliver broad ranges of estradiol (E2) thereby, fulfilling the requirements of local and systemic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and contraception. To circumvent the high material needs associated with co-extrusion, we implemented a small-scale screening procedure that accurately predicts the E2 release from IVRs comprising E2 below its solubility concentration in the core. Rational formulation design yielded the target release for local HRT (<10 µg/day), systemic HRT (50–100 µg/day) and contraception (>150 µg/day, combined with a progestin). Low E2 release was achieved by the combination of low E2 loadings, low VA content of the membrane polymer (also known as coat polymer or outer shell), and increased membrane thickness. Medium E2 release was provided by medium E2 loading, low VA content of the membrane polymer, and low membrane thickness. Combining high E2 loadings, high VA content of the membrane polymer, and low membrane thickness yielded high E2 release. This makes EVA based IVRs a versatile platform that can be used to deliver a broad range of E2 doses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-97
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2019



  • Estradiol
  • Extrusion
  • Reservoir system
  • Thermoplastic polymer
  • Vaginal drug delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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