This paper describes the conditions of preparation of poly(o-caprolactone) (PCL) microparticles with a mean size between 5 and 10 mm, obtained by a double emulsion-solvent evaporation technique, suitable for oral vaccine delivery. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) was used as water-soluble model antigen for encapsulation. Different parameters influencing the microparticle size, the BSA loading and entrapment efficiency were investigated. Spherical, smooth and homogeneously distributed microparticles were produced with a BSA loading and entrapment efficiency reaching, respectively, 5% (w:w) and 30%. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) and isoelectric focusing (IEF) analyses of BSA released from these particles confirmed that the entrapped protein seemed to remain unaltered by the protein encapsulation process. © 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.