Abstract: Photodynamic therapy involves delivery of a photosensitising drug that is activated by light of a specific wavelength, resulting in generation of highly reactive radicals. This activated species can cause destruction of targeted cells. Application of this process for treatment of microbial infections has been termed “photodynamic antimicrobial chemotherapy” (PACT). In the treatment of chronic wounds, the delivery of photosensitising agents is often impeded by the presence of a thick hyperkeratotic/necrotic tissue layer, reducing their therapeutic efficacy. Microneedles (MNs) are an emerging drug delivery technology that have been demonstrated to successfully penetrate the outer layers of the skin, whilst minimising damage to skin barrier function. Delivering photosensitising drugs using this platform has been demonstrated to have several advantages over conventional photodynamic therapy, such as, painless application, reduced erythema, enhanced cosmetic results and improved intradermal delivery. The aim of this study was to physically characterise dissolving MNs loaded with the photosensitising agent, methylene blue and assess their photodynamic antimicrobial activity. Dissolving MNs were fabricated from aqueous blends of Gantrez® AN-139 co-polymer containing varying loadings of methylene blue. A height reduction of 29.8% was observed for MNs prepared from blends containing 0.5% w/w methylene blue following application of a total force of 70.56 N/array. A previously validated insertion test was used to assess the effect of drug loading on MN insertion into a wound model. Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans biofilms were incubated with various methylene blue concentrations within the range delivered by MNs in vitro (0.1–2.5 mg/mL) and either irradiated at 635 nm using a Paterson Lamp or subjected to a dark period. Microbial susceptibility to PACT was determined by assessing the total viable count. Kill rates of >96%, were achieved for S. aureus and >99% for E. coli and C. albicans with the combination of PACT and methylene blue concentrations between 0.1 and 2.5 mg/mL. A reduction in the colony count was also observed when incorporating the photosensitiser without irradiation, this reduction was more notable in S. aureus and E. coli strains than in C. albicans.
Abstract: The aim of this project was to study the influence of microneedles on transdermal delivery of amantadine hydrochloride and pramipexole dihydrochloride across porcine ear skin in vitro. Microchannel visualization studies were carried out and characterization of the microchannel depth was performed using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) to demonstrate microchannel formation following microneedle roller application. We also report, for the first time, the use of TA.XT Plus Texture Analyzer to characterize burst force in pig skin for transdermal drug delivery experiments. This is the force required to rupture pig skin. The mean passive flux of amantadine hydrochloride, determined using a developed LC–MS/MS technique, was 22.38 ± 4.73 µg/cm2/h, while the mean flux following the use of a stainless steel microneedle roller was 49.04 ± 19.77 µg/cm2/h. The mean passive flux of pramipexole dihydrochloride was 134.83 ± 13.66 µg/cm2/h, while the flux following the use of a stainless steel microneedle roller was 134.04 ± 0.98 µg/cm2/h. For both drugs, the difference in flux values following the use of solid stainless steel microneedle roller was not statistically significantly (p > 0.05). Statistical analysis was carried out using the Mann–Whitney Rank sum test.
Abstract: Fish scale biopolymer blended with nanocellulose crystals is used for production of microneedles applying mechanical press microfabrication and the effect of nanocellulose on microfabrication, water absorption, moisture stability and mechanical properties of the microneedles is reported. The results show that microneedles produced from the nanocellulose loaded fish scale biopolymer requires higher temperature for micromolding (80 ± 5 °C) than microneedles from only fish scale biopolymer, which were moldable at 50 ± 5 °C. The mechanical properties of the fish scale biopolymer-nanocellulose (FSBP-NC) films showed that the addition of nanocellulose (NC) resulted in lower elongation and higher tensile stress compared to fish scale biopolymer (FSBP) films. The nanocellulose also prevented dissolution of the needles and absorbed up to 300% and 234% its own weight in water (8% and 12% w/w NC/FSBP), whereas FSBP films dissolved completely within 1 min, Indicating that the FSBP-NC films can be used to produce microneedles with prolonged dissolution rate. FTIR spectrometry of the FSBP films was compared with the FSBP-NC films and the NC gels. The FTIR showed typical peaks for fish scale polymer and nanocellulose with evidence of interactions. SEM micrographs showed relatively good dispersion of NC in FSBP at both NC contents corresponding to 8% and 12% w/w NC/FSBP respectively.
Abstract: The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a major obstacle that prevents therapeutic drugs or genes from being delivered to the central nervous system. Therefore, it is important to develop methods to enhance the permeability of the BBB. We have developed echo-contrast gas (C3F8) entrapping liposomes (Bubble liposomes, BLs) that can work as a gene delivery tool in combination with ultrasound (US) exposure. Here, we studied whether the permeability of the BBB can be enhanced by the combination of BLs and high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). Mice were intravenously injected withEvans blue (EB). BLs were subsequently injected, and the right hemispheres were exposed to HIFU. As a result, the accumulation of EB in the HIFU-exposed brain hemispheres was increased over that observed in the non-HIFU-exposed hemispheres, depending on the intensity and the duration of the HIFU. Similarly, the combination of BLs and HIFU allowed fluorescent-labeled antisense oligonucleotides to be delivered into the HIFU-exposed left hemispheres of the treated mice. Furthermore, a firefly luciferase-expressing plasmid DNA was delivered to the brain by the combination method of BLs and HIFU, which resulted in the increased gene expression in the brain at the focused-US exposure site. These results suggest that the method of combining BLs and HIFU together serves as a useful means for accelerating the permeability of BBB and thereby enabling antisense oligonucleotides or genes to be delivered to the focused brain site.
Abstract: A hemodynamic study of hydrodynamic gene delivery (HGD) from the tail vein in rodents has inspired a mechanism and an approach to further improve the efficacy of this procedure. However, there is no report on the hemodynamics of a regional HGD, which is an inevitable approach in large animals. Here, we report the hemodynamics of a regional hydrodynamic injection in detail based on 3D volume data and the dynamism of tissue intensity over time by using computed tomography (CT) both during and after a regional hydrodynamic injection that targeted the liver of a pig weighing 15.6 kg. Contrast medium (CM) was injected at a steady speed of 20 mL/s for 7.5 s under the temporal balloon occlusion of the hepatic vein (HV). A retrograde flow formed a wedge-shaped strong enhancement area downstream of the corresponding HV within 2.5 s, which was followed by drainage into another HV beginning from the target area and the portal vein (PV) toward a non-target area of the liver. After the injection, the CM was readily eliminated from the PV outside the target area. These data suggest that an interventional radiology approach is effective in limiting the hydrodynamic impacts in large animals at a target area and that the burden overflowing into the PV is limited. A further investigation that simultaneously evaluates gene delivery efficiency and hemodynamics using CT is needed to establish feasible parameters for a regional HGD in large animals.
Abstract: In recent years, anti-angiogenic therapy has attracted much interest because it is a versatile approach to treating most types of tumors, and therefore would be expected to be applicable for various cancers. Severe adverse events in patients treated with currently available anti-angiogenic therapeutics have, however, been reported, and these are caused by their inhibitory effects in normal tissue. To achieve an efficient anti-angiogenic therapy with minimal toxicity, a drug delivery system (DDS) specific to tumor endothelial cells (TECs) is needed. Cyclic RGD (cRGD) is a well-known ligand against αVβ3 integrin that is expressed at high levels in the cell surface of TECs. To address this issue, we previously developed a cyclic RGD-equipped liposomal DDS (RGD-MEND) in which small interfering RNA (siRNA) was encapsulated. However, in the previous study, details of the preparation steps were not thoroughly examined. In this paper, to produce the most efficient delivery of therapeutic TECs, we explored optimum preparation conditions and components of the RGD-MEND. The cellular uptake and silencing ability of the RGD-MEND were investigated as a function of ligand density, poly(ethyleneglycol) linker length, and lipid composition. As a result, a knockdown efficiency that was five-fold higher than that of the previously reported one (ED50, from 4.0 to 0.75 mg/kg) was achieved.