Analysis of vaginal microbicide film hydration kinetics by quantitative imaging refractometry.
We have developed a quantitative imaging refractometry technique, based on holographic phase microscopy, as a tool for investigating microscopic structural changes in water-soluble polymeric materials. Here we apply the approach to analyze the structural degradation of vaginal topical microbicide films due to water uptake. We implemented transmission imaging of 1-mm diameter film samples loaded into a flow chamber with a 1.5×2 mm field of view. After water was flooded into the chamber, interference images were captured and analyzed to obtain high resolution maps of the local refractive index and subsequently the volume fraction and mass density of film material at each spatial location. Here, we compare the hydration dynamics of a panel of films with varying thicknesses and polymer compositions, demonstrating that quantitative imaging refractometry can be an effective tool for evaluating and characterizing the performance of candidate microbicide film designs for anti-HIV drug delivery.
Rinehart, M; Grab, S; Rohan, L; Katz, D; Wax, A
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