Open AccessArticle
Contribution of the Hair Follicular Pathway to Total Skin Permeation of Topically Applied and Exposed Chemicals
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(4), 32; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8040032 -
Abstract
Generally, the blood and skin concentration profiles and steady-state skin concentration of topically applied or exposed chemicals can be calculated from the in vitro skin permeation profile. However, these calculation methods are particularly applicable to chemicals for which the main pathway is via
[...] Read more.
Generally, the blood and skin concentration profiles and steady-state skin concentration of topically applied or exposed chemicals can be calculated from the in vitro skin permeation profile. However, these calculation methods are particularly applicable to chemicals for which the main pathway is via the stratum corneum. If the contribution of hair follicles to the total skin permeation of chemicals can be obtained in detail, their blood and skin concentrations can be more precisely predicted. In the present study, the contribution of the hair follicle pathway to the skin permeation of topically applied or exposed chemicals was calculated from the difference between their permeability coefficients through skin with and without hair follicle plugging, using an in vitro skin permeation experiment. The obtained results reveal that the contribution of the hair follicle pathway can be predicted by using the chemicals’ lipophilicity. For hydrophilic chemicals (logarithm of n-octanol/water partition coefficient (log Ko/w) < 0), a greater reduction of permeation due to hair follicle plugging was observed than for lipophilic chemicals (log Ko/w ≥ 0). In addition, the ratio of this reduction was decreased with an increase in log Ko/w. This consideration of the hair follicle pathway would be helpful to investigate the efficacy and safety of chemicals after topical application or exposure to them because skin permeation and disposition should vary among skins in different body sites due to differences in the density of hair follicles. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Solid Microneedles on the Transdermal Delivery of Selected Antiepileptic Drugs
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(4), 33; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8040033 -
Abstract
The aim of this project was to examine the effect of microneedle rollers on the percutaneous penetration of tiagabine hydrochloride and carbamazepine across porcine skin in vitro. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometric analysis was carried out using an Agilent 1200 Series HPLC system coupled to
[...] Read more.
The aim of this project was to examine the effect of microneedle rollers on the percutaneous penetration of tiagabine hydrochloride and carbamazepine across porcine skin in vitro. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometric analysis was carried out using an Agilent 1200 Series HPLC system coupled to an Agilent G1969A TOF-MS system. Transdermal flux values of the drugs were determined from the steady-state portion of the cumulative amount versus time curves. Following twelve hours of microneedle roller application, there was a 6.74-fold increase in the percutaneous penetration of tiagabine hydrochloride (86.42 ± 25.66 µg/cm2/h) compared to passive delivery (12.83 ± 6.30 µg/cm2/h). For carbamazepine in 20% ethanol, passive transdermal flux of 7.85 ± 0.60 µg/cm2/h was observed compared to 10.85 ± 0.11 µg/cm2/h after microneedle treatment. Carbamazepine reconstituted in 30% ethanol resulted in only a 1.19-fold increase in drug permeation across porcine skin (36.73 ± 1.83 µg/cm2/h versus 30.74 ± 1.32 µg/cm2/h). Differences in flux values of untreated and microneedle-treated porcine skin using solid microneedles for the transdermal delivery of tiagabine were statistically significant. Although there were 1.38- and 1.19-fold increases in transdermal flux values of carbamazepine when applied as 20% and 30% ethanol solutions across microneedle-treated porcine skin, respectively, the increases were not statistically significant. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Activated Carbon-Based System for the Disposal of Psychoactive Medications
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(4), 31; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8040031 -
Abstract
The misuse and improper disposal of psychoactive medications is a major safety and environmental concern. Hence, the proper disposal of these medications is critically important. A drug deactivation system which contains activated carbon offers a unique disposal method. In the present study, deactivation
[...] Read more.
The misuse and improper disposal of psychoactive medications is a major safety and environmental concern. Hence, the proper disposal of these medications is critically important. A drug deactivation system which contains activated carbon offers a unique disposal method. In the present study, deactivation efficiency of this system was tested by using three model psychoactive drugs. HPLC validation was performed for each drug to ensure that the analytical method employed was suitable for its intended use. The method was found to be specific, accurate and precise for analyzing the drugs. The extent and rate of deactivation of the drugs was determined at several time points. After 28 days in the presence of activated carbon, the extent of leaching out of the drugs was evaluated. Deactivation started immediately after addition of the medications into the disposal pouches. Within 8 h, around 47%, 70% and 97% of diazepam, lorazepam and buprenorphine were adsorbed by the activated carbon, respectively. By the end of 28 days, over 99% of all drugs were deactivated. The desorption/leaching study showed that less than 1% of the active ingredients leached out from the activated carbon. Thus, this deactivation system can be successfully used for the disposal of psychoactive medications. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Cross-Linked Dependency of Boronic Acid-Conjugated Chitosan Nanoparticles by Diols for Sustained Insulin Release
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(4), 30; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8040030 -
Abstract
Boronic acids have been widely investigated for their potential use as glucose sensors in glucose responsive polymeric insulin delivery systems. Interactions between cyclic diols and boronic acids, anchored to polymeric delivery systems, may result in swelling of the delivery system, releasing the drug.
[...] Read more.
Boronic acids have been widely investigated for their potential use as glucose sensors in glucose responsive polymeric insulin delivery systems. Interactions between cyclic diols and boronic acids, anchored to polymeric delivery systems, may result in swelling of the delivery system, releasing the drug. In this study, 4-formylphenylboronic acid conjugated chitosan was formulated into insulin containing nanoparticles via polyelectrolyte complexation. The nanoparticles had an average diameter of 140 ± 12.8 nm, polydispersity index of 0.17 ± 0.1, zeta potential of +19.1 ± 0.69 mV, encapsulation efficiency of 81% ± 1.2%, and an insulin loading capacity of 46% ± 1.8% w/w. Changes in size of the nanoparticles and release of insulin were type of sugar- and concentration-dependent. High concentration of diols resulted in a sustained release of insulin due to crosslink formation with boronic acid moieties within the nanoparticles. The formulation has potential to be developed into a self-regulated insulin delivery system for the treatment of diabetes. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle
Rapid Quantification and Validation of Lipid Concentrations within Liposomes
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(3), 29; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8030029 -
Abstract
Quantification of the lipid content in liposomal adjuvants for subunit vaccine formulation is of extreme importance, since this concentration impacts both efficacy and stability. In this paper, we outline a high performance liquid chromatography-evaporative light scattering detector (HPLC-ELSD) method that allows for the
[...] Read more.
Quantification of the lipid content in liposomal adjuvants for subunit vaccine formulation is of extreme importance, since this concentration impacts both efficacy and stability. In this paper, we outline a high performance liquid chromatography-evaporative light scattering detector (HPLC-ELSD) method that allows for the rapid and simultaneous quantification of lipid concentrations within liposomal systems prepared by three liposomal manufacturing techniques (lipid film hydration, high shear mixing, and microfluidics). The ELSD system was used to quantify four lipids: 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC), cholesterol, dimethyldioctadecylammonium (DDA) bromide, and ᴅ-(+)-trehalose 6,6′-dibehenate (TDB). The developed method offers rapidity, high sensitivity, direct linearity, and a good consistency on the responses (R2 > 0.993 for the four lipids tested). The corresponding limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ) were 0.11 and 0.36 mg/mL (DMPC), 0.02 and 0.80 mg/mL (cholesterol), 0.06 and 0.20 mg/mL (DDA), and 0.05 and 0.16 mg/mL (TDB), respectively. HPLC-ELSD was shown to be a rapid and effective method for the quantification of lipids within liposome formulations without the need for lipid extraction processes. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle
An Accelerated Release Study to Evaluate Long-Acting Contraceptive Levonorgestrel-Containing in Situ Forming Depot Systems
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(3), 28; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8030028 -
Abstract
Biodegradable polymer-based injectable in situ forming depot (ISD) systems that solidify in the body to form a solid or semisolid reservoir are becoming increasingly attractive as an injectable dosage form for sustained (months to years) parenteral drug delivery. Evaluation of long-term drug release
[...] Read more.
Biodegradable polymer-based injectable in situ forming depot (ISD) systems that solidify in the body to form a solid or semisolid reservoir are becoming increasingly attractive as an injectable dosage form for sustained (months to years) parenteral drug delivery. Evaluation of long-term drug release from the ISD systems during the formulation development is laborious and costly. An accelerated release method that can effectively correlate the months to years of long-term release in a short time such as days or weeks is economically needed. However, no such accelerated ISD system release method has been reported in the literature to date. The objective of the current study was to develop a short-term accelerated in vitro release method for contraceptive levonorgestrel (LNG)-containing ISD systems to screen formulations for more than 3-month contraception after a single subcutaneous injection. The LNG-containing ISD formulations were prepared by using biodegradable poly(lactide-co-glycolide) and polylactic acid polymer and solvent mixtures containing N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone and benzyl benzoate or triethyl citrate. Drug release studies were performed under real-time (long-term) conditions (PBS, pH 7.4, 37 °C) and four accelerated (short-term) conditions: (A) PBS, pH 7.4, 50 °C; (B) 25% ethanol in PBS, pH 7.4, 50 °C; (C) 25% ethanol in PBS, 2% Tween 20, pH 7.4, 50 °C; and (D) 25% ethanol in PBS, 2% Tween 20, pH 9, 50 °C. The LNG release profile, including the release mechanism under the accelerated condition D within two weeks, correlated (r2 ≥ 0.98) well with that under real-time conditions at four months. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle
Tolterodine Tartrate Proniosomal Gel Transdermal Delivery for Overactive Bladder
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(3), 27; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8030027 -
Abstract
The goal of this study was to formulate and evaluate side effects of transdermal delivery of proniosomal gel compared to oral tolterodine tartrate (TT) for the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB). Proniosomal gels are surfactants, lipids and soy lecithin, prepared by coacervation phase
[...] Read more.
The goal of this study was to formulate and evaluate side effects of transdermal delivery of proniosomal gel compared to oral tolterodine tartrate (TT) for the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB). Proniosomal gels are surfactants, lipids and soy lecithin, prepared by coacervation phase separation. Formulations were analyzed for drug entrapment efficiency (EE), vesicle size, surface morphology, attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy, in vitro skin permeation, and in vivo effects. The EE was 44.87%–91.68% and vesicle size was 253–845 nm for Span formulations and morphology showed a loose structure. The stability and skin irritancy test were also carried out for the optimized formulations. Span formulations with cholesterol-containing formulation S1 and glyceryl distearate as well as lecithin containing S3 formulation showed higher cumulative percent of permeation such as 42% and 35%, respectively. In the in vivo salivary secretion model, S1 proniosomal gel had faster recovery, less cholinergic side effect on the salivary gland compared with that of oral TT. Histologically, bladder of rats treated with the proniosomal gel formulation S1 showed morphological improvements greater than those treated with S3. This study demonstrates the potential of proniosomal vesicles for transdermal delivery of TT to treat OAB. Full article
Figures

Open AccessReview
Performance Parameters and Characterizations of Nanocrystals: A Brief Review
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(3), 26; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8030026 -
Abstract
Poor bioavailability of drugs associated with their poor solubility limits the clinical effectiveness of almost 40% of the newly discovered drug moieties. Low solubility, coupled with a high log p value, high melting point and high dose necessitates exploration of alternative formulation strategies
[...] Read more.
Poor bioavailability of drugs associated with their poor solubility limits the clinical effectiveness of almost 40% of the newly discovered drug moieties. Low solubility, coupled with a high log p value, high melting point and high dose necessitates exploration of alternative formulation strategies for such drugs. One such novel approach is formulation of the drugs as “Nanocrystals”. Nanocrystals are primarily comprised of drug and surfactants/stabilizers and are manufactured by “top-down” or “bottom-up” methods. Nanocrystals aid the clinical efficacy of drugs by various means such as enhancement of bioavailability, lowering of dose requirement, and facilitating sustained release of the drug. This effect is dependent on the various characteristics of nanocrystals (particle size, saturation solubility, dissolution velocity), which have an impact on the improved performance of the nanocrystals. Various sophisticated techniques have been developed to evaluate these characteristics. This article describes in detail the various characterization techniques along with a brief review of the significance of the various parameters on the performance of nanocrystals. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Influence of the Encapsulation Efficiency and Size of Liposome on the Oral Bioavailability of Griseofulvin-Loaded Liposomes
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(3), 25; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8030025 -
Abstract
The objective of the present study was to investigate the influence of the encapsulation efficiency and size of liposome on the oral bioavailability of griseofulvin-loaded liposomes. Griseofulvin-loaded liposomes with desired characteristics were prepared from pro-liposome using various techniques. To study the effect of
[...] Read more.
The objective of the present study was to investigate the influence of the encapsulation efficiency and size of liposome on the oral bioavailability of griseofulvin-loaded liposomes. Griseofulvin-loaded liposomes with desired characteristics were prepared from pro-liposome using various techniques. To study the effect of encapsulation efficiency, three preparations of griseofulvin, namely, griseofulvin aqueous suspension and two griseofulvin-loaded liposomes with different amounts of griseofulvin encapsulated [i.e., F1 (32%) and F2(98%)], were administered to rats. On the other hand, to study the effect of liposome size, the rats were given three different griseofulvin-loaded liposomes of various sizes, generated via different mechanical dispersion techniques [i.e., FTS (142 nm), MS (357 nm) and NS (813 nm)], but with essentially similar encapsulation efficiencies (about 93%). Results indicated that the extent of bioavailability of griseofulvin was improved 1.7–2.0 times when given in the form of liposomes (F1) compared to griseofulvin suspension. Besides that, there was an approximately two-fold enhancement of the extent of bioavailability following administration of griseofulvin-loaded liposomes with higher encapsulation efficiency (F2), compared to those of F1. Also, the results showed that the extent of bioavailability of liposomal formulations with smaller sizes were higher by approximately three times compared to liposomal formulation of a larger size. Nevertheless, a further size reduction of griseofulvin-loaded liposome (≤400 nm) did not promote the uptake or bioavailability of griseofulvin. In conclusion, high drug encapsulation efficiency and small liposome size could enhance the oral bioavailability of griseofulvin-loaded liposomes and therefore these two parameters deserve careful consideration during formulation. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
TPGS-Stabilized Curcumin Nanoparticles Exhibit Superior Effect on Carrageenan-Induced Inflammation in Wistar Rat
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(3), 24; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8030024 -
Abstract
Curcumin, a hydrophobic polyphenol compound derived from the rhizome of the Curcuma genus, has a wide spectrum of biological and pharmacological applications. Previously, curcumin nanoparticles with different stabilizers had been produced successfully in order to enhance solubility and per oral absorption. In the
[...] Read more.
Curcumin, a hydrophobic polyphenol compound derived from the rhizome of the Curcuma genus, has a wide spectrum of biological and pharmacological applications. Previously, curcumin nanoparticles with different stabilizers had been produced successfully in order to enhance solubility and per oral absorption. In the present study, we tested the anti-inflammatory effect of d-α-Tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (TPGS)-stabilized curcumin nanoparticles in vivo. Lambda-carrageenan (λ-carrageenan) was used to induce inflammation in rats; it was given by an intraplantar route and intrapelurally through surgery in the pleurisy test. In the λ-carrageenan-induced edema model, TPGS-stabilized curcumin nanoparticles were given orally one hour before induction and at 0.5, 4.5, and 8.5 h after induction with two different doses (1.8 and 0.9 mg/kg body weight (BW)). Sodium diclofenac with a dose of 4.5 mg/kg BW was used as a standard drug. A physical mixture of curcumin-TPGS was also used as a comparison with a higher dose of 60 mg/kg BW. The anti-inflammatory effect was assessed on the edema in the carrageenan-induced paw edema model and by the volume of exudate as well as the number of leukocytes reduced in the pleurisy test. TPGS-stabilized curcumin nanoparticles with lower doses showed better anti-inflammatory effects, indicating the greater absorption capability through the gastrointestinal tract. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Drug Delivery Approaches for the Treatment of Cervical Cancer
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(3), 23; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8030023 -
Abstract
Cervical cancer is a highly prevalent cancer that affects women around the world. With the availability of new technologies, researchers have increased their efforts to develop new drug delivery systems in cervical cancer chemotherapy. In this review, we summarized some of the recent
[...] Read more.
Cervical cancer is a highly prevalent cancer that affects women around the world. With the availability of new technologies, researchers have increased their efforts to develop new drug delivery systems in cervical cancer chemotherapy. In this review, we summarized some of the recent research in systematic and localized drug delivery systems and compared the advantages and disadvantages of these methods. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle
2-O-Acyl-3-O-(1-acyloxyalkyl) Prodrugs of 5,6-Isopropylidene-l-Ascorbic Acid and l-Ascorbic Acid: Antioxidant Activity and Ability to Permeate Silicone Membranes
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(3), 22; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8030022 -
Abstract
2-O-Acyl-3-O-(1-acyloxyalkyl) prodrug derivatives, 15, of 5,6-isopropylidene-l-ascorbic acid, VCA, and l-ascorbic acid, VC, have been characterized by measuring (1) their solubilities in water (SAQ) and in 1-octanol (SOCT); (2) the
[...] Read more.
2-O-Acyl-3-O-(1-acyloxyalkyl) prodrug derivatives, 15, of 5,6-isopropylidene-l-ascorbic acid, VCA, and l-ascorbic acid, VC, have been characterized by measuring (1) their solubilities in water (SAQ) and in 1-octanol (SOCT); (2) the ability of one member of the homologous series, 15a, to diffuse through a silicone membrane from its application in propylene glycol:water (PG:AQ), 30:70; (3) the ability of another member of the series, 15e, to express cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) in HaCaT cells; and (4) the ability of 15e to support cell viability in HaCaT cells. All of the prodrugs were more soluble in 1-octanol than VC or VCA were. 15a, which exhibited a good balance between SOCT and SAQ, was found to deliver approximately 15 times more 15a than VCA delivered VCA through a silicone membrane from PG:AQ, 30:70. Under those conditions, no VC permeated the membrane. 15e, which hydrolyzed to release acetaldehyde as a byproduct instead of the toxin formaldehyde, exhibited approximately 30 times the antioxidant activity of VC in CaHaT cells and supported cell viability up to 900 μM in HaCaT cells. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Investigation of the Dermal Absorption and Irritation Potential of Sertaconazole Nitrate Anhydrous Gel
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(3), 21; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8030021 -
Abstract
Effective topical therapy of cutaneous fungal diseases requires the delivery of the active agent to the target site in adequate concentrations to produce a pharmacological effect and inhibit the growth of the pathogen. In addition, it is important to determine the concentration of
[...] Read more.
Effective topical therapy of cutaneous fungal diseases requires the delivery of the active agent to the target site in adequate concentrations to produce a pharmacological effect and inhibit the growth of the pathogen. In addition, it is important to determine the concentration of the drug in the skin in order to evaluate the subsequent efficacy and potential toxicity for topical formulations. For this purpose, an anhydrous gel containing sertaconazole nitrate as a model drug was formulated and the amount of the drug in the skin was determined by in vitro tape stripping. The apparent diffusivity and partition coefficients were then calculated by a mathematical model describing the dermal absorption as passive diffusion through a pseudo-homogenous membrane. The skin irritation potential of the formulation was also assessed by using the in vitro Epiderm™ model. An estimation of the dermal absorption parameters allowed us to evaluate drug transport across the stratum corneum following topical application. The estimated concentration for the formulation was found to be higher than the MIC100 at the target site which suggested its potential efficacy for treating fungal infections. The skin irritation test showed the formulation to be non-irritating in nature. Thus, in vitro techniques can be used for laying the groundwork in developing efficient and non-toxic topical products. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Novel Solid Self-Nanoemulsifying Drug Delivery System (S-SNEDDS) for Oral Delivery of Olmesartan Medoxomil: Design, Formulation, Pharmacokinetic and Bioavailability Evaluation
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(3), 20; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8030020 -
Abstract
The main purpose of this study was to develop a solid self-nanoemulsifying drug delivery system (S-SNEDDS) of Olmesartan (OLM) for enhancement of its solubility and dissolution rate. In this study, liquid SNEDDS containing Olmesartan was formulated and further developed into a solid form
[...] Read more.
The main purpose of this study was to develop a solid self-nanoemulsifying drug delivery system (S-SNEDDS) of Olmesartan (OLM) for enhancement of its solubility and dissolution rate. In this study, liquid SNEDDS containing Olmesartan was formulated and further developed into a solid form by the spray drying technique using Aerosil 200 as a solid carrier. Based on the preliminary screening of different unloaded SNEDDS formulae, eight formulae of OLM loaded SNEEDS were prepared using Capryol 90, Cremophor RH40 and Transcutol HP as oil, surfactant and cosurfactant, respectively. Results showed that the mean droplet size of all reconstituted SNEDDS was found to be in the nanometric range (14.91–22.97 nm) with optimum PDI values (0.036–0.241). All formulae also showed rapid emulsification time (15.46 ± 1.34–24.17 ± 1.47 s), good optical clarity (98.33% ± 0.16%–99.87% ± 0.31%) and high drug loading efficiency (96.41% ± 1.20%–99.65% ± 1.11%). TEM analysis revealed the formation of spherical and homogeneous droplets with a size smaller than 50 nm. In vitro release of OLM from SNEDDS formulae showed that more than 90% of OLM released in approximately 90 min. Optimized SNEDDS formulae were selected to be developed into S-SNEDDS using the spray drying technique. The prepared S-SNEDDS formulae were evaluated for flow properties, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), reconstitution properties, drug content and in vitro dissolution study. It was found that S-SNEDDS formulae showed good flow properties and high drug content. Reconstitution properties of S-SNEDDS showed spontaneous self-nanoemulsification and no sign of phase separation. DSC thermograms revealed that OLM was in solubilized form and FTIR supported these findings. SEM photographs showed smooth uniform surface of S-SNEDDS with less aggregation. Results of the in vitro drug release showed that there was great enhancement in the dissolution rate of OLM. To clarify the possible improvement in pharmacokinetic behavior of OLM S-SNEDDS, plasma concentration-time curve profiles of OLM after the oral administration of optimized S-SNEDDS formula (F3) were compared to marketed product and pure drug in suspension. At all time points, it was observed that OLM plasma concentrations in rats treated with S-SNEDDS were significantly higher than those treated with the drug in suspension and marketed product. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Current Trends in Development of Liposomes for Targeting Bacterial Biofilms
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(2), 18; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8020018 -
Abstract
Biofilm targeting represents a great challenge for effective antimicrobial therapy. Increased biofilm resistance, even with the elevated concentrations of very potent antimicrobial agents, often leads to failed therapeutic outcome. Application of biocompatible nanomicrobials, particularly liposomally-associated nanomicrobials, presents a promising approach for improved drug
[...] Read more.
Biofilm targeting represents a great challenge for effective antimicrobial therapy. Increased biofilm resistance, even with the elevated concentrations of very potent antimicrobial agents, often leads to failed therapeutic outcome. Application of biocompatible nanomicrobials, particularly liposomally-associated nanomicrobials, presents a promising approach for improved drug delivery to bacterial cells and biofilms. Versatile manipulations of liposomal physicochemical properties, such as the bilayer composition, membrane fluidity, size, surface charge and coating, enable development of liposomes with desired pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles. This review attempts to provide an unbiased overview of investigations of liposomes destined to treat bacterial biofilms. Different strategies including the recent advancements in liposomal design aiming at eradication of existing biofilms and prevention of biofilm formation, as well as respective limitations, are discussed in more details. Full article
Figures

Open AccessEditorial
Liposomes in Drug Delivery: How It All Happened
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(2), 19; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8020019 -
Abstract Effective delivery of drugs via liposomes in the treatment or prevention of disease is the aim of numerous researchers worldwide.[...] Full article
Open AccessReview
Nanomilling of Drugs for Bioavailability Enhancement: A Holistic Formulation-Process Perspective
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(2), 17; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8020017 -
Abstract
Preparation of drug nanoparticles via wet media milling (nanomilling) is a very versatile drug delivery platform and is suitable for oral, injectable, inhalable, and buccal applications. Wet media milling followed by various drying processes has become a well-established and proven formulation approach especially
[...] Read more.
Preparation of drug nanoparticles via wet media milling (nanomilling) is a very versatile drug delivery platform and is suitable for oral, injectable, inhalable, and buccal applications. Wet media milling followed by various drying processes has become a well-established and proven formulation approach especially for bioavailability enhancement of poorly water-soluble drugs. It has several advantages such as organic solvent-free processing, tunable and relatively high drug loading, and applicability to a multitude of poorly water-soluble drugs. Although the physical stability of the wet-milled suspensions (nanosuspensions) has attracted a lot of attention, fundamental understanding of the process has been lacking until recently. The objective of this review paper is to present fundamental insights from available published literature while summarizing the recent advances and highlighting the gap areas that have not received adequate attention. First, stabilization by conventionally used polymers/surfactants and novel stabilizers is reviewed. Then, a fundamental understanding of the process parameters, with a focus on wet stirred media milling, is revealed based on microhydrodynamic models. This review is expected to bring a holistic formulation-process perspective to the nanomilling process and pave the way for robust process development scale-up. Finally, challenges are indicated with a view to shedding light on future opportunities. Full article
Figures

Open AccessReview
Stabilizing Agents for Drug Nanocrystals: Effect on Bioavailability
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(2), 16; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8020016 -
Abstract
Drug nanocrystals are a versatile option for drug delivery purposes, and while the number of poorly soluble drug materials is all the time increasing, more research in this area is performed. Drug nanocrystals have a simple structure—a solid drug core is surrounded by
[...] Read more.
Drug nanocrystals are a versatile option for drug delivery purposes, and while the number of poorly soluble drug materials is all the time increasing, more research in this area is performed. Drug nanocrystals have a simple structure—a solid drug core is surrounded by a layer of stabilizing agent. However, despite the considerably simple structure, the selection of an appropriate stabilizer for a certain drug can be challenging. Mostly, the stabilizer selection is based purely on the requirement of physical stability, e.g., maintaining the nanosized particle size as long as possible after the formation of drug nanocrystals. However, it is also worth taking into account that stabilizer can affect the bioavailability in the final formulation via interactions with cells and cell layers. In addition, formation of nanocrystals is only one process step, and for the final formulation, more excipients are often added to the composition. The role of the stabilizers in the final formulation can be more than only stabilizing the nanocrystal particle size. A good example is the stabilizer’s role as cryoprotectant during freeze drying. In this review, the stabilizing effect, role of stabilizers in final nanocrystalline formulations, challenges in reaching in vitro–in vivo correlation with nanocrystalline products, and stabilizers’ effect on higher bioavailability are discussed. Full article
Figures

Open AccessReview
Challenges, Solutions, and Quality Metrics of Personal Genome Assembly in Advancing Precision Medicine
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(2), 15; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8020015 -
Abstract
Even though each of us shares more than 99% of the DNA sequences in our genome, there are millions of sequence codes or structure in small regions that differ between individuals, giving us different characteristics of appearance or responsiveness to medical treatments. Currently,
[...] Read more.
Even though each of us shares more than 99% of the DNA sequences in our genome, there are millions of sequence codes or structure in small regions that differ between individuals, giving us different characteristics of appearance or responsiveness to medical treatments. Currently, genetic variants in diseased tissues, such as tumors, are uncovered by exploring the differences between the reference genome and the sequences detected in the diseased tissue. However, the public reference genome was derived with the DNA from multiple individuals. As a result of this, the reference genome is incomplete and may misrepresent the sequence variants of the general population. The more reliable solution is to compare sequences of diseased tissue with its own genome sequence derived from tissue in a normal state. As the price to sequence the human genome has dropped dramatically to around $1000, it shows a promising future of documenting the personal genome for every individual. However, de novo assembly of individual genomes at an affordable cost is still challenging. Thus, till now, only a few human genomes have been fully assembled. In this review, we introduce the history of human genome sequencing and the evolution of sequencing platforms, from Sanger sequencing to emerging “third generation sequencing” technologies. We present the currently available de novo assembly and post-assembly software packages for human genome assembly and their requirements for computational infrastructures. We recommend that a combined hybrid assembly with long and short reads would be a promising way to generate good quality human genome assemblies and specify parameters for the quality assessment of assembly outcomes. We provide a perspective view of the benefit of using personal genomes as references and suggestions for obtaining a quality personal genome. Finally, we discuss the usage of the personal genome in aiding vaccine design and development, monitoring host immune-response, tailoring drug therapy and detecting tumors. We believe the precision medicine would largely benefit from bioinformatics solutions, particularly for personal genome assembly. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Nanoparticle-Laden Contact Lens for Controlled Ocular Delivery of Prednisolone: Formulation Optimization Using Statistical Experimental Design
Pharmaceutics 2016, 8(2), 14; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics8020014 -
Abstract
Human eye is one of the most accessible organs in the body, nonetheless, its physiology and associated precorneal factors such as nasolacrimal drainage, blinking, tear film, tear turnover, and induced lacrimation has significantly decreased the residence time of any foreign substances including pharmaceutical
[...] Read more.
Human eye is one of the most accessible organs in the body, nonetheless, its physiology and associated precorneal factors such as nasolacrimal drainage, blinking, tear film, tear turnover, and induced lacrimation has significantly decreased the residence time of any foreign substances including pharmaceutical dosage forms. Soft contact lenses are promising delivery devices that can sustain the drug release and prolong residence time by acting as a geometric barrier to drug diffusion to tear fluid. This study investigates experimental parameters such as composition of polymer mixtures, stabilizer and the amount of active pharmaceutical ingredient on the preparation of a polymeric drug delivery system for the topical ocular administration of Prednisolone. To achieve this goal, prednisolone-loaded poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles were prepared by single emulsion solvent evaporation method. Prednisolone was quantified using a validated high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method. Nanoparticle size was mostly affected by the amount of co-polymer (PLGA) used whereas drug load was mostly affected by amount of prednisolone (API) used. Longer homogenization time along with higher amount of API yielded the smallest size nanoparticles. The nanoparticles prepared had an average particle size of 347.1 ± 11.9 nm with a polydispersity index of 0.081. The nanoparticles were then incorporated in the contact lens mixture before preparing them. Clear and transparent contact lenses were successfully prepared. When the nanoparticle (NP)-loaded contact lenses were compared with control contact lenses (unloaded NP contact lenses), a decrease in hydration by 2% (31.2% ± 1.25% hydration for the 0.2 g loaded NP contact lenses) and light transmission by 8% (unloaded NP contact lenses 94.5% NP 0.2 g incorporated contact lenses 86.23%). The wettability of the contact lenses remained within the desired value (<90 °C) even upon incorporation of the NP. NP alone and NP-loaded contact lenses both displayed a slow invitro drug release of drug over 24 h; where 42.3% and 10.8% prednisolone release were achieved, respectively. Contact lenses can be used as a medicated device to sustain ocular drug delivery and improve patient compliance; nonetheless, patients and healthcare professionals’ acceptability and perceptions of the new formulations entail further investigations. Full article
Figures