Inulin, inulin-silica and modified inulin microgels were prepared in a single step via crosslinking within microemulsion, and used as drug delivery devices. Inulin-silica composite micro particles were also synthesized in the presence of tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) via a water-in-oil microemulsion polymerization/crosslinking technique. To generate porous inulin particles, inulin-silica particles were treated with 0.5 M NaOH solution to dissolve silica particles. Furthermore, virgin inulin (p(inulin)) and porous inulin microgels (por-p(inulin)) were quaternized successfully by treatment with 3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl trimethyl ammonium chloride (CHPTMAC) in aqueous solution, generating positive charges on the biopolymer as q-p(inulin). Rosmarinic acid (RA) was used as model drug for loading and release studies by synthesized inulin-based microgels in phosphate buffer solution (PBS) at pH 7.4. It was shown that the absorption and release rate are influenced by zeta potential and porosity of the microgels. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.