The in vitro release behavior of icaritin from the IPMs was evaluated using a dialysis-bag diffusion method, as reported previously, with little modification [9]. Briefly, the solution of IPMs (1.0 mL, 1.0 mg/mL) was introduced into a dialysis bag with molecular weight cutoff of 3500 D (Jingke Inc., Beijing, China). The sealed dialysis bag was immersed into 50 mL of SIF or SGF containing 40% ethanol, to guarantee pseudo-sink conditions, and was kept in a shaker at 37 °C and 100 rpm. At fixed time intervals, 1.0 mL of the release medium was taken and replaced immediately with an equal volume of fresh medium. The content of icaritin in the medium was determined by the HPLC method, as described earlier. The oily suspension of icaritin (0.1 mL, containing 1.0 mg of icaritin) mixed with SIF (0.9 mL) or SGF (0.9 mL) was used as control.

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