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Pharmaceutics, Volume 11, Issue 3 (March 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Drug Transport across Porcine Intestine Using an Ussing Chamber System: Regional Differences and [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview
Pharmaceutical Vehicles for Vaginal and Rectal Administration of Anti-HIV Microbicide Nanosystems
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030145
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Prevention strategies play a key role in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Vaginal and rectal microbicides hold great promise in tackling sexual transmission of HIV-1, but effective and safe products are yet to be approved and made available to those in need. While most [...] Read more.
Prevention strategies play a key role in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Vaginal and rectal microbicides hold great promise in tackling sexual transmission of HIV-1, but effective and safe products are yet to be approved and made available to those in need. While most efforts have been placed in finding and testing suitable active drug candidates to be used in microbicide development, the last decade also saw considerable advances in the design of adequate carrier systems and formulations that could lead to products presenting enhanced performance in protecting from infection. One strategy demonstrating great potential encompasses the use of nanosystems, either with intrinsic antiviral activity or acting as carriers for promising microbicide drug candidates. Polymeric nanoparticles, in particular, have been shown to be able to enhance mucosal distribution and retention of promising antiretroviral compounds. One important aspect in the development of nanotechnology-based microbicides relates to the design of pharmaceutical vehicles that allow not only convenient vaginal and/or rectal administration, but also preserve or even enhance the performance of nanosystems. In this manuscript, we revise relevant work concerning the selection of vaginal/rectal dosage forms and vehicle formulation development for the administration of microbicide nanosystems. We also pinpoint major gaps in the field and provide pertinent hints for future work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Approaches for Delivery of Anti-HIV Drugs)
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Open AccessArticle
A Recombinant Enolase-Montanide™ PetGel A Vaccine Promotes a Protective Th1 Immune Response against a Highly Virulent Sporothrix schenckii by Toluene Exposure
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030144
Received: 25 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
The effect of vaccination in fungal strains that suffered changes in their virulence by exposure to environmental contaminants is largely known. Growing reports of resistance to antifungal drugs and the emergence of new highly virulent strains, possibly acquired in the environment, prompt the [...] Read more.
The effect of vaccination in fungal strains that suffered changes in their virulence by exposure to environmental contaminants is largely known. Growing reports of resistance to antifungal drugs and the emergence of new highly virulent strains, possibly acquired in the environment, prompt the design of new vaccines able to prevent and combat emerging mycotic diseases. In this study, we evaluated the protective capacity of an enolase-based vaccine and Montanide PetGel A (PGA) as an adjuvant against S. schenckii with increased virulence by exposure to toluene. The adjuvanted vaccine induced a strong specific Th1 response and protective immunity against a challenge with either wildtype or toluene-adapted S. schenckii in Balb/c mice. This study highlights the role of the adjuvant PGA driving the quality of the anti-sporothrix immunity and the key component in the vaccine efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antifungal and Antiparasitic Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessCommunication
Hyaluronic Acid-Modified and TPCA-1-Loaded Gold Nanocages Alleviate Inflammation
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030143
Received: 17 February 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Gold nanocages (AuNCs) are biocompatible and porous nanogold particles that have been widely used in biomedical fields. In this study, hyaluronic acid (HA) and peptide- modified gold nanocages (HA-AuNCs/T/P) loaded with 2-[(aminocarbonyl)amino]-5-(4-fluorophenyl)-3-thiophenecarboxamide (TPCA-1) were prepared to investigate their potential for combating inflammation. TPCA-1 [...] Read more.
Gold nanocages (AuNCs) are biocompatible and porous nanogold particles that have been widely used in biomedical fields. In this study, hyaluronic acid (HA) and peptide- modified gold nanocages (HA-AuNCs/T/P) loaded with 2-[(aminocarbonyl)amino]-5-(4-fluorophenyl)-3-thiophenecarboxamide (TPCA-1) were prepared to investigate their potential for combating inflammation. TPCA-1 was released from AuNCs, intracellularly when HA was hydrolyzed by hyaluronidase. HA-AuNCs/T/P show a much higher intracellular uptake than AuNCs/T/P, and exhibit a much higher efficacy on the suppression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) than free TPCA-1, suggesting great improvement to the anti-inflammatory efficacy of TPCA-1 through the application of AuNCs. HA-AuNCs/T/P can also reduce the production of reactive oxygen species in inflammatory cells. This study suggests that HA-AuNCs/T/P may be potential agents for anti-inflammatory treatment, and are worthy of further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle-Based Drug Delivery Systems for Immunomodulation)
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Open AccessArticle
Combination of Zinc Hyaluronate and Metronidazole in a Lipid-Based Drug Delivery System for the Treatment of Periodontitis
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030142
Received: 11 February 2019 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Background: Despite being a highly prevalent disease and a possible contributor to adult tooth loss, periodontitis possesses no well-established therapy. The aim of the recent study was the development and evaluation of a mucoadhesive monophase lipid formulation for the sustained local delivery of [...] Read more.
Background: Despite being a highly prevalent disease and a possible contributor to adult tooth loss, periodontitis possesses no well-established therapy. The aim of the recent study was the development and evaluation of a mucoadhesive monophase lipid formulation for the sustained local delivery of amoxicillin, metronidazole, and/or zinc hyaluronate or gluconate. Methods: To investigate our formulations, differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, swelling, erosion, mucoadhesivity, drug release, and antimicrobial measurements were performed. Results: Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) results show that the loaded drugs are in a suspended form, the softening of the formulations starts at body temperature, but a part remains solid, providing sustained release. Swelling of the lipid compositions is affected by the hydrophilic components, their concentration, and the strength of the coherent lipid structure, while their erosion is impacted by the emulsification of melted lipid components. Conclusions: Results of drug release and antimicrobial effectiveness measurements show that a sustained release may be obtained. Amoxicillin had higher effectiveness against oral pathogens than metronidazole or zinc hyaluronate alone, but the combination of the two latter could provide similar effectiveness to amoxicillin. The applied mucoadhesive polymer may affect adhesivity, drug release through the swelling mechanism, and antimicrobial effect as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hyaluronic Acid for Biomedical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Cabazitaxel-Loaded Nanocarriers for Cancer Therapy with Reduced Side Effects
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030141
Received: 10 February 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Jevtana® is a micellar cabazitaxel (CBZ) solution that was approved for prostate cancer in 2010, and recently, this drug has been reported for breast cancer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the mediated delivery of CBZ via liposomes and nanoparticles [...] Read more.
Jevtana® is a micellar cabazitaxel (CBZ) solution that was approved for prostate cancer in 2010, and recently, this drug has been reported for breast cancer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the mediated delivery of CBZ via liposomes and nanoparticles (NPs) for the treatment of breast cancer and compare these with a micellar formulation that is currently in clinical use. CBZ-loaded nanocarriers were prepared with particle sizes between 70–110 nm, and with the sustained in vitro release of CBZ for more than 28 days. Cytotoxicity studies on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells demonstrated the toxic potential of these nanocarriers. Cellular internalization revealed that NPs and liposomes have better permeability than micelles. Cell cycle analysis and apoptosis studies on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells confirmed G2/M phase arrest as well as cell death due to apoptosis and necrosis, where formulations were found to be effective compared to a micellar CBZ solution. Results from pharmacokinetic studies revealed that there is an increased circulation half-life and mean residence time for CBZ liposomes and NPs in comparison with a micellar CBZ solution. CBZ liposomes and NPs showed a reduction in hemolysis and neutropenia in comparison with a micellar CBZ solution in rats. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mathematical Modeling of Release Kinetics from Supramolecular Drug Delivery Systems
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030140
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 21 March 2019
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Abstract
Embedding of active substances in supramolecular systems has as the main goal to ensure the controlled release of the active ingredients. Whatever the final architecture or entrapment mechanism, modeling of release is challenging due to the moving boundary conditions and complex initial conditions. [...] Read more.
Embedding of active substances in supramolecular systems has as the main goal to ensure the controlled release of the active ingredients. Whatever the final architecture or entrapment mechanism, modeling of release is challenging due to the moving boundary conditions and complex initial conditions. Despite huge diversity of formulations, diffusion phenomena are involved in practically all release processes. The approach in this paper starts, therefore, from mathematical methods for solving the diffusion equation in initial and boundary conditions, which are further connected with phenomenological conditions, simplified and idealized in order to lead to problems which can be analytically solved. Consequently, the release models are classified starting from the geometry of diffusion domain, initial conditions, and conditions on frontiers. Taking into account that practically all solutions of the models use the separation of variables method and integral transformation method, two specific applications of these methods are included. This paper suggests that “good modeling practice” of release kinetics consists essentially of identifying the most appropriate mathematical conditions corresponding to implied physicochemical phenomena. However, in most of the cases, models can be written but analytical solutions for these models cannot be obtained. Consequently, empiric models remain the first choice, and they receive an important place in the review. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Drug Transport across Porcine Intestine Using an Ussing Chamber System: Regional Differences and the Effect of P-Glycoprotein and CYP3A4 Activity on Drug Absorption
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030139
Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 14 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 21 March 2019
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Abstract
Drug absorption across viable porcine intestines was investigated using an Ussing chamber system. The apparent permeability coefficients, Papp,pig, were compared to the permeability coefficients determined in humans in vivo, Peff,human. Eleven drugs from the different Biopharmaceutical Classification System (BCS) [...] Read more.
Drug absorption across viable porcine intestines was investigated using an Ussing chamber system. The apparent permeability coefficients, Papp,pig, were compared to the permeability coefficients determined in humans in vivo, Peff,human. Eleven drugs from the different Biopharmaceutical Classification System (BCS) categories absorbed by passive diffusion with published Peff,human values were used to test the system. The initial experiments measured Papp,pig for each drug after application in a Krebs–Bicarbonate Ringer (KBR) buffer and in biorelevant media FaSSIF V2 and FeSSIF V2, mimicking fasted and fed states. Strong sigmoidal correlations were observed between Peff,human and Papp,pig. Differences in the segmental Papp,pig of antipyrine, cimetidine and metoprolol confirmed the discrimination between drug uptake in the duodenum, jejunum and ileum (and colon); the results were in good agreement with human data in vivo. The presence of the P-gp inhibitor verapamil significantly increased Papp,pig across the ileum of the P-gp substrates cimetidine and ranitidine (p < 0.05). Clotrimazole, a potent CYP3A4 inhibitor, significantly increased Papp,pig of the CYP3A4 substrates midazolam, verapamil and tamoxifen and significantly decreased the formation of their main metabolites. In conclusion, the results showed that this is a robust technique to predict passive drug permeability under fasted and fed states, to identify regional differences in drug permeability and to demonstrate the activity of P-gp and CYP3A4. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Enhanced Skin Permeation and Retention of Imiquimod Loaded in β-Cyclodextrin Nanosponge Hydrogel
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030138
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
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Abstract
Imiquimod (IMQ) is an immune response modifier clinically used for the treatment of various topical diseases. However, its poor aqueous solubility and skin penetration capability make the topical delivery of IMQ a challenging task. This work aims at developing a nanomedicine-based topical formulation, [...] Read more.
Imiquimod (IMQ) is an immune response modifier clinically used for the treatment of various topical diseases. However, its poor aqueous solubility and skin penetration capability make the topical delivery of IMQ a challenging task. This work aims at developing a nanomedicine-based topical formulation, carrying IMQ to control the scarring process for the treatment of aberrant wounds. For this purpose, IMQ was loaded in β-cyclodextrin-based nanosponges and dispersed in a hydrogel suitable for dermal application. The formulation was characterized in vitro and compared with IMQ inclusion complexes, with (2-hydroxy)propyl β-cyclodextrin(HPβCD) and carboxymethyl β-cyclodextrin (CMβCD) showing enhanced penetration properties. The hydrogel containing IMQ-loaded nanosponges could act as a drug reservoir and guarantee the sustained release of IMQ through the skin. A greater inhibitory effect on fibroblast proliferation was observed for IMQ loaded in nanosponges compared to the other formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyclodextrins in Drug Formulation and Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle
Tenofovir Hot-Melt Granulation using Gelucire® to Develop Sustained-Release Vaginal Systems for Weekly Protection against Sexual Transmission of HIV
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030137
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 12 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
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Abstract
Hot-melt granulation is a technique used to obtain granules by dispersing a drug in polymers at a high temperature. Tenofovir, an antiretroviral drug with proven activity as a vaginal microbicide, was dispersed in melted Gelucire® (or a mixture of different Gelucire® [...] Read more.
Hot-melt granulation is a technique used to obtain granules by dispersing a drug in polymers at a high temperature. Tenofovir, an antiretroviral drug with proven activity as a vaginal microbicide, was dispersed in melted Gelucire® (or a mixture of different Gelucire®) to obtain drug-loaded granules. Studies performed on the granules proved that the drug is not altered in the hot-melt granulation process. The granules obtained were included in a matrix formed by the hydrophilic polymers hydroxypropylmethylcellulose and chitosan to obtain vaginal tablets that combine different mechanisms of controlled release: The Gelucire® needs to soften to allow the release of the Tenofovir, and the hydrophilic polymers must form a gel so the drug can diffuse through it. The studies performed with the tablets were swelling behavior, Tenofovir release, and ex vivo mucoadhesion. The tablets containing granules obtained with Tenofovir and Gelucire® 43/01 in a ratio of 1:2 in a matrix formed by hydroxypropylmethylcellulose and chitosan in a ratio of 1.9:1 were selected as the optimal formulation, since they release Tenofovir in a sustained manner over 216h and remain attached to the vaginal mucosa throughout. A weekly administration of these tablets would therefore offer women protection against the sexual transmission of HIV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Approaches for Delivery of Anti-HIV Drugs)
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Evaluation of Poorly Water-Soluble Celecoxib as Solid Dispersions Containing Nonionic Surfactants Using Fluidized-Bed Granulation
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030136
Received: 24 January 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 16 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
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Abstract
The purpose of this study is to develop a solid dispersion system with improved dissolution, absorption, and patient compliance of poorly water-soluble celecoxib (CXB). Instead of sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), an anionic surfactant used in the marketed product (Celebrex®), solubilization was [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to develop a solid dispersion system with improved dissolution, absorption, and patient compliance of poorly water-soluble celecoxib (CXB). Instead of sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), an anionic surfactant used in the marketed product (Celebrex®), solubilization was performed using non-ionic surfactants with low toxicity. Cremophor RH40 (Cre-RH) was selected as the optimal solubilizer. Granules and tablets containing CXB and Cre-RH were prepared via fluid-bed and tableting processes, respectively. The morphology, crystallinity, flowability, dissolution, and pharmacokinetics for CXB-solid dispersion granules (SDGs) and the hardness and friability for CXB-solid dispersion tablets (SDTs) were evaluated. The solubility of CXB was found to be increased by about 717-fold when using Cre-RH. The dissolution of granules containing Cre-RH was found to be increased greatly compared with CXB API and Celebrex® (66.9% versus 2.3% and 37.2% at 120 min). The improvement of the dissolution was confirmed to be the same as that of granules in tablets. The CXB formulation resulted in 4.6- and 4.9-fold higher AUCinf and Cmax of CXB compared with those of an oral dose of CXB powder in rats. In short, these data suggest that the solid dispersion based on Cre-RH—a non-toxic solubilizer, non-ionic surfactant— may be an effective formulation for CXB to enhance its oral bioavailability and safety. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
LC478, a Novel Di-Substituted Adamantyl Derivative, Enhances the Oral Bioavailability of Docetaxel in Rats
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030135
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 9 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
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Abstract
P-glycoprotein (P-gp)-mediated efflux of docetaxel in the gastrointestinal tract mainly impedes its oral chemotherapy. Recently, LC478, a novel di-substituted adamantyl derivative, was identified as a non-cytotoxic P-gp inhibitor in vitro. Here, we assessed whether LC478 enhances the oral bioavailability of docetaxel in vitro [...] Read more.
P-glycoprotein (P-gp)-mediated efflux of docetaxel in the gastrointestinal tract mainly impedes its oral chemotherapy. Recently, LC478, a novel di-substituted adamantyl derivative, was identified as a non-cytotoxic P-gp inhibitor in vitro. Here, we assessed whether LC478 enhances the oral bioavailability of docetaxel in vitro and in vivo. LC478 inhibited P-gp mediated efflux of docetaxel in Caco-2 cells. In addition, 100 mg/kg of LC478 increased intestinal absorption of docetaxel, which led to an increase in area under plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) and absolute bioavailability of docetaxel in rats. According to U.S. FDA criteria (I, an inhibitor concentration in vivo tissue)/(IC50, inhibitory constant in vitro) >10 determines P-gp inhibition between in vitro and in vivo. The values 15.6–20.5, from (LC478 concentration in intestine, 9.37–12.3 μM)/(IC50 of LC478 on P-gp inhibition in Caco-2 cell, 0.601 μM) suggested that 100 mg/kg of LC478 sufficiently inhibited P-gp to enhance oral absorption of docetaxel. Moreover, LC478 inhibited P-gp mediated efflux of docetaxel in the ussing chamber studies using rat small intestines. Our study demonstrated that the feasibility of LC478 as an ideal enhancer of docetaxel bioavailability by P-gp inhibition in dose (concentration)-dependent manners. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Formulation Development of Albendazole-Loaded Self-Microemulsifying Chewable Tablets to Enhance Dissolution and Bioavailability
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030134
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 16 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
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Abstract
Albendazole is an anthelmintic agent with poor solubility and absorption. We developed a chewable tablet (200 mg drug equivalent), containing a self-microemulsifying drug delivery system (SMEDDS), with oral disintegrating properties. The emulsion was developed using sesame and soybean oils along with surfactant/co-surfactants, and [...] Read more.
Albendazole is an anthelmintic agent with poor solubility and absorption. We developed a chewable tablet (200 mg drug equivalent), containing a self-microemulsifying drug delivery system (SMEDDS), with oral disintegrating properties. The emulsion was developed using sesame and soybean oils along with surfactant/co-surfactants, and the tablets were prepared by wet granulation using superdisintegrants and adsorbents. Infra-red (IR) spectral studies revealed no interaction between the drug and excipients, and all physical and chemical parameters were within acceptable limits. Stability studies for the formulation indicated no significant change over time. An in vitro release study indicated 100% drug release within 30 min, and in vivo plasma concentrations indicated that the area under the curve (AUC) of albendazole in rats administered SMEDDS chewable tablets was significantly higher than in those administered commercial tablets or powder (p-value < 0.05). The systemic bioavailability of albendazole achieved through the SMEDDS tablets was 1.3 times higher than that achieved by the administration of comparable quantities of albendazole commercial tablets. This was due to the higher dissolution of albendazole SMEDDS in the chewable tablets. We conclude that the SMEDDS chewable formulation can be used to improve the dissolution and systemic availability of poorly water-soluble drugs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Verapamil and Diltiazem on the Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Rivaroxaban
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030133
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
Concomitant use of rivaroxaban with non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers (non-DHPs) might lead to an increase of systemic rivaroxaban exposure and anticoagulant effects in relation to the inhibition of metabolic enzymes and/or transporters by non-DHPs. This study was designed to evaluate the effects of [...] Read more.
Concomitant use of rivaroxaban with non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers (non-DHPs) might lead to an increase of systemic rivaroxaban exposure and anticoagulant effects in relation to the inhibition of metabolic enzymes and/or transporters by non-DHPs. This study was designed to evaluate the effects of verapamil and diltiazem on the pharmacokinetics and the prolongation of prothrombin time of rivaroxaban in rats. The data were analyzed using a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) modeling approach to quantify the influence of verapamil. Verapamil increased the systemic exposure of rivaroxaban by 2.8-fold (p <0.001) which was probably due to the inhibition of efflux transportation rather than metabolism. Prothrombin time was also prolonged in a proportional manner; diltiazem did not show any significant effects, however. A transit PK model in the absorption process comprehensively describes the double-peaks of rivaroxaban plasma concentrations and the corresponding change of prothrombin time with a simple linear relationship. The slope of prothrombin time vs. rivaroxaban plasma concentration in rats was retrospectively found to be insensitive by about 5.4-fold compared to than in humans. More than a 67% dose reduction in rivaroxaban is suggested in terms of both a pharmacokinetic point of view, and the sensitivity differences on the prolongation of prothrombin time when used concomitantly with verapamil. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Overview of the Manufacturing Methods of Solid Dispersion Technology for Improving the Solubility of Poorly Water-Soluble Drugs and Application to Anticancer Drugs
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030132
Received: 12 February 2019 / Revised: 14 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
Approximately 40% of new chemical entities (NCEs), including anticancer drugs, have been reported as poorly water-soluble compounds. Anticancer drugs are classified into biologic drugs (monoclonal antibodies) and small molecule drugs (nonbiologic anticancer drugs) based on effectiveness and safety profile. Biologic drugs are administered [...] Read more.
Approximately 40% of new chemical entities (NCEs), including anticancer drugs, have been reported as poorly water-soluble compounds. Anticancer drugs are classified into biologic drugs (monoclonal antibodies) and small molecule drugs (nonbiologic anticancer drugs) based on effectiveness and safety profile. Biologic drugs are administered by intravenous (IV) injection due to their large molecular weight, while small molecule drugs are preferentially administered by gastrointestinal route. Even though IV injection is the fastest route of administration and ensures complete bioavailability, this route of administration causes patient inconvenience to visit a hospital for anticancer treatments. In addition, IV administration can cause several side effects such as severe hypersensitivity, myelosuppression, neutropenia, and neurotoxicity. Oral administration is the preferred route for drug delivery due to several advantages such as low cost, pain avoidance, and safety. The main problem of NCEs is a limited aqueous solubility, resulting in poor absorption and low bioavailability. Therefore, improving oral bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs is a great challenge in the development of pharmaceutical dosage forms. Several methods such as solid dispersion, complexation, lipid-based systems, micronization, nanonization, and co-crystals were developed to improve the solubility of hydrophobic drugs. Recently, solid dispersion is one of the most widely used and successful techniques in formulation development. This review mainly discusses classification, methods for preparation of solid dispersions, and use of solid dispersion for improving solubility of poorly soluble anticancer drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Solid Dispersion Technology)
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Characterization of a New Quercus Suber-Based Pickering Emulsion for Topical Application
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030131
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 11 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
Quercus Suber Bark from Quercus suber L. is a natural, renewable and biodegradable biomaterial with multifunctional proprieties. In this study, we used it as solid particles to stabilize a Pickering emulsion. The main goal was to produce an optimized topical formulation using biocompatible [...] Read more.
Quercus Suber Bark from Quercus suber L. is a natural, renewable and biodegradable biomaterial with multifunctional proprieties. In this study, we used it as solid particles to stabilize a Pickering emulsion. The main goal was to produce an optimized topical formulation using biocompatible organic particles as stabilizers of the emulsion instead of the common surfactants, whilst benefiting from Quercus suber L. proprieties. In this work, a Quality by Design (QbD) approach was successfully applied to the production of this emulsion. A screening design was conducted, identifying the critical variables of the formula and process, affecting the critical quality attributes of the emulsion (droplet size distribution). The optimization of the production was made through the establishment of the design space. The stability was also investigated during 30 days, demonstrating that Quercus Suber Bark-stabilized emulsions are stable since the droplet size distribution lowers. In vitro studies were performed to assess antioxidant and antiaging efficacy, which revealed that the formulation had indeed antioxidant proprieties. A physicochemical characterization demonstrated that the formulation presents a shear-thinning fluid, ideal for topical administration. The in vivo compatibility study confirmed that the final formulation is not skin irritant, being safe for human use. A sensorial analysis was also performed, using a simple sensory questionnaire, revealing very positive results. Thus, the use of Quercus Suber Bark particles as a multifunctional solid ingredient contributed to achieve a stable, effective and innovative Pickering emulsion with a meaningful synergistic protection against oxidative stress. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Self-Assembly Phenomenon of Poloxamers and Its Effect on the Dissolution of a Poorly Soluble Drug from Solid Dispersions Obtained by Solvent Methods
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030130
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 14 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
The self-assembly phenomenon of amphiphiles has attracted particular attention in recent years due to its wide range of applications. The formation of nanoassemblies able to solubilize sparingly water-soluble drugs was found to be a strategy to solve the problem of poor solubility of [...] Read more.
The self-assembly phenomenon of amphiphiles has attracted particular attention in recent years due to its wide range of applications. The formation of nanoassemblies able to solubilize sparingly water-soluble drugs was found to be a strategy to solve the problem of poor solubility of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Binary and ternary solid dispersions containing Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS) class II drug bicalutamide and either Poloxamer®188 or Poloxamer®407 as the surface active agents were obtained by either spray drying or solvent evaporation under reduced pressure. Both processes led to morphological changes and a reduction of particle size, as confirmed by scanning electron microscopy and laser diffraction measurements. The increase in powder wettability was confirmed by means of contact angle measurements. The effect of an alteration of the crystal structure was followed by powder X-ray diffractometry while thermal properties were determined using differential scanning calorimetry. Interestingly, bicalutamide exhibited a polymorph transition after spray drying with the poloxamer and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), while the poloxamer underwent partial amorphization. Moreover, due to the surface activity of the carrier, the solid dispersions formed nanoaggregates in water, as confirmed using dynamic light scattering measurements. The aggregates measuring 200–300 nm in diameter were able to solubilize bicalutamide inside the hydrophobic inner parts. The self-assembly of binary systems was found to improve the amount of dissolved bicalutamide by 4- to 8-fold in comparison to untreated drug. The improvement in drug dissolution was correlated with the solubilization of poorly soluble molecules by macromolecules, as assessed using emission spectroscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Solid Dispersion Technology)
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Open AccessReview
Challenges and Recent Progress in Oral Drug Delivery Systems for Biopharmaceuticals
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030129
Received: 6 February 2019 / Revised: 9 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
Routes of drug administration and the corresponding physicochemical characteristics of a given route play significant roles in therapeutic efficacy and short term/long term biological effects. Each delivery method has favorable aspects and limitations, each requiring a specific delivery vehicles design. Among various routes, [...] Read more.
Routes of drug administration and the corresponding physicochemical characteristics of a given route play significant roles in therapeutic efficacy and short term/long term biological effects. Each delivery method has favorable aspects and limitations, each requiring a specific delivery vehicles design. Among various routes, oral delivery has been recognized as the most attractive method, mainly due to its potential for solid formulations with long shelf life, sustained delivery, ease of administration and intensified immune response. At the same time, a few challenges exist in oral delivery, which have been the main research focus in the field in the past few years. The present work concisely reviews different administration routes as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each method, highlighting why oral delivery is currently the most promising approach. Subsequently, the present work discusses the main obstacles for oral systems and explains the most recent solutions proposed to deal with each issue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Delivery Technology Development in Canada)
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Open AccessReview
The Digital Pharmacies Era: How 3D Printing Technology Using Fused Deposition Modeling Can Become a Reality
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030128
Received: 24 February 2019 / Revised: 12 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
The pharmaceutical industry is set to join the fourth industrial revolution with the 3D printing of medicines. The application of 3D printers in compounding pharmacies will turn them into digital pharmacies, wrapping up the telemedicine care cycle and definitively modifying the pharmacotherapeutic treatment [...] Read more.
The pharmaceutical industry is set to join the fourth industrial revolution with the 3D printing of medicines. The application of 3D printers in compounding pharmacies will turn them into digital pharmacies, wrapping up the telemedicine care cycle and definitively modifying the pharmacotherapeutic treatment of patients. Fused deposition modeling 3D printing technology melts extruded drug-loaded filaments into any dosage form; and allows the obtainment of flexible dosages with different shapes, multiple active pharmaceutical ingredients and modulated drug release kinetics—in other words, offering customized medicine. This work aimed to present an update on this technology, discussing its challenges. The co-participation of the pharmaceutical industry and compounding pharmacies seems to be the best way to turn this technology into reality. The pharmaceutical industry can produce drug-loaded filaments on a large scale with the necessary quality and safety guarantees; while digital pharmacies can transform the filaments into personalized medicine according to specific prescriptions. For this to occur, adaptations in commercial 3D printers will need to meet health requirements for drug products preparation, and it will be necessary to make advances in regulatory gaps and discussions on patent protection. Thus, despite the conservatism of the sector, 3D drug printing has the potential to become the biggest technological leap ever seen in the pharmaceutical segment, and according to the most optimistic prognostics, it will soon be within reach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of Pharmaceuticals and Drug Delivery Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of a Methylcellulose and Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogel as a Vehicle for Rectal Delivery of Biologics
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030127
Received: 21 February 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
Biologics have changed the management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), but there are concerns regarding unexpected systemic toxicity and loss of therapeutic response following administration by injection. Local delivery of biologics directly to the inflamed mucosa via rectal enema administration addresses the problems [...] Read more.
Biologics have changed the management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), but there are concerns regarding unexpected systemic toxicity and loss of therapeutic response following administration by injection. Local delivery of biologics directly to the inflamed mucosa via rectal enema administration addresses the problems associated with systemic administration. Hydrogels are potentially useful delivery vehicles enabling rectal administration of biologics. Here, we prepared a hydrogel system based on methylcellulose (MC) and hyaluronic acid (HA), which possesses mucosal healing properties, incorporating a model macromolecular drug, namely (fluorescently-labeled) bovine serum albumin (BSA). The BSA-loaded MCHA hydrogel showed temperature-dependent gelation (liquid-like at 20 °C and gel-like at 37 °C) and shear thinning behavior, with these being important and desirable characteristics for rectal application (enabling easy application and retention). BSA release from the MCHA system at 37 °C was linear, with 50% of the loaded drug released within 2 h. The system demonstrated acceptable toxicity towards intestinal (colon) Caco-2 epithelial cells, even at high concentrations. Importantly, application of the BSA-loaded MCHA hydrogel to polarized Caco-2 monolayers, with or without an exemplar absorption enhancer, resulted in transintestinal permeability of BSA. The study therefore indicates that the MCHA hydrogel shows potential for topical (rectal) delivery of biologics in IBD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hyaluronic Acid for Biomedical Applications)
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Open AccessCommunication
Impact of Polypharmacy on Candidate Biomarker miRNomes for the Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Striking Back on Treatments
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030126
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 18 March 2019
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Abstract
Fibromyalgia (FM) and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) are diseases of unknown etiology presenting complex and often overlapping symptomatology. Despite promising advances on the study of miRNomes of these diseases, no validated molecular diagnostic biomarker yet exists. Since FM and ME/CFS patient treatments [...] Read more.
Fibromyalgia (FM) and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) are diseases of unknown etiology presenting complex and often overlapping symptomatology. Despite promising advances on the study of miRNomes of these diseases, no validated molecular diagnostic biomarker yet exists. Since FM and ME/CFS patient treatments commonly include polypharmacy, it is of concern that biomarker miRNAs are masked by drug interactions. Aiming at discriminating between drug-effects and true disease-associated differential miRNA expression, we evaluated the potential impact of commonly prescribed drugs on disease miRNomes, as reported by the literature. By using the web search tools SM2miR, Pharmaco-miR, and repoDB, we found a list of commonly prescribed drugs that impact FM and ME/CFS miRNomes and therefore could be interfering in the process of biomarker discovery. On another end, disease-associated miRNomes may incline a patient’s response to treatment and toxicity. Here, we explored treatments for diseases in general that could be affected by FM and ME/CFS miRNomes, finding a long list of them, including treatments for lymphoma, a type of cancer affecting ME/CFS patients at a higher rate than healthy population. We conclude that FM and ME/CFS miRNomes could help refine pharmacogenomic/pharmacoepigenomic analysis to elevate future personalized medicine and precision medicine programs in the clinic. Full article
Open AccessReview
Spatially Specific Liposomal Cancer Therapy Triggered by Clinical External Sources of Energy
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030125
Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 12 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 16 March 2019
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Abstract
This review explores the use of energy sources, including ultrasound, magnetic fields, and external beam radiation, to trigger the delivery of drugs from liposomes in a tumor in a spatially-specific manner. Each section explores the mechanism(s) of drug release that can be achieved [...] Read more.
This review explores the use of energy sources, including ultrasound, magnetic fields, and external beam radiation, to trigger the delivery of drugs from liposomes in a tumor in a spatially-specific manner. Each section explores the mechanism(s) of drug release that can be achieved using liposomes in conjunction with the external trigger. Subsequently, the treatment’s formulation factors are discussed, highlighting the parameters of both the therapy and the medical device. Additionally, the pre-clinical and clinical trials of each triggered release method are explored. Lastly, the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the feasibility and future outlook of each triggered release method, are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Delivery Technology Development in Canada)
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Open AccessReview
What Drives Innovation: The Canadian Touch on Liposomal Therapeutics
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030124
Received: 23 February 2019 / Revised: 11 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 16 March 2019
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Abstract
Liposomes are considered one of the most successful drug delivery systems (DDS) given their established utility and success in the clinic. In the past 40–50 years, Canadian scientists have made ground-breaking discoveries, many of which were successfully translated to the clinic, leading to [...] Read more.
Liposomes are considered one of the most successful drug delivery systems (DDS) given their established utility and success in the clinic. In the past 40–50 years, Canadian scientists have made ground-breaking discoveries, many of which were successfully translated to the clinic, leading to the formation of biotech companies, the creation of research tools, such as the Lipex Extruder and the NanoAssemblr™, as well as contributing significantly to the development of pharmaceutical products, such as Abelcet®, MyoCet®, Marqibo®, Vyxeos®, and Onpattro™, which are making positive impacts on patients’ health. This review highlights the Canadian contribution to the development of these and other important liposomal technologies that have touched patients. In this review, we try to address the question of what drives innovation: Is it the individual, the teams, the funding, and/or an entrepreneurial spirit that leads to success? From this perspective, it is possible to define how innovation will translate to meaningful commercial ventures and products with impact in the future. We begin with a brief history followed by descriptions of drug delivery technologies influenced by Canadian researchers. We will discuss recent advances in liposomal technologies, including the Metaplex technology from the author’s lab. The latter exemplifies how a nanotechnology platform can be designed based on multidisciplinary groups with expertise in coordination chemistry, nanomedicines, disease, and business to create new therapeutics that can effect better outcomes in patient populations. We conclude that the team is central to the effort; arguing if the team is entrepreneurial and well positioned, the funds needed will be found, but likely not solely in Canada. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Delivery Technology Development in Canada)
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Open AccessArticle
One-Pot Synthesis of Epirubicin-Capped Silver Nanoparticles and Their Anticancer Activity against Hep G2 Cells
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030123
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 11 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 15 March 2019
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Abstract
Epirubicin-capped silver nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized through a one-pot method by using epirubicin as both the functional drug and the reducing agent of Ag+ to Ag0. The preparation process was accomplished in 1 h. In addition, the obtained epirubicin-capped silver [...] Read more.
Epirubicin-capped silver nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized through a one-pot method by using epirubicin as both the functional drug and the reducing agent of Ag+ to Ag0. The preparation process was accomplished in 1 h. In addition, the obtained epirubicin-capped silver nanoparticle was characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and infrared spectroscopy. The results showed that a layer of polymer epirubicin had formed around the silver nanoparticle, which was 30-40 nm in diameter. We further investigated the antitumor activity of the prepared epirubicin-capped silver nanoparticle, and the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) against Hep G2 cells was 1.92 μg/mL, indicating a good antitumor property of the nanoparticle at low dosage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Drug Delivery Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring Bioequivalence of Dexketoprofen Trometamol Drug Products with the Gastrointestinal Simulator (GIS) and Precipitation Pathways Analyses
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030122
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 15 March 2019
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Abstract
The present work aimed to explain the differences in oral performance in fasted humans who were categorized into groups based on the three different drug product formulations of dexketoprofen trometamol (DKT) salt—Using a combination of in vitro techniques and pharmacokinetic analysis. The non-bioequivalence [...] Read more.
The present work aimed to explain the differences in oral performance in fasted humans who were categorized into groups based on the three different drug product formulations of dexketoprofen trometamol (DKT) salt—Using a combination of in vitro techniques and pharmacokinetic analysis. The non-bioequivalence (non-BE) tablet group achieved higher plasma Cmax and area under the curve (AUC) than the reference and BE tablets groups, with only one difference in tablet composition, which was the presence of calcium monohydrogen phosphate, an alkalinizing excipient, in the tablet core of the non-BE formulation. Concentration profiles determined using a gastrointestinal simulator (GIS) apparatus designed with 0.01 N hydrochloric acid and 34 mM sodium chloride as the gastric medium and fasted state simulated intestinal fluids (FaSSIF-v1) as the intestinal medium showed a faster rate and a higher extent of dissolution of the non-BE product compared to the BE and reference products. These in vitro profiles mirrored the fraction doses absorbed in vivo obtained from deconvoluted plasma concentration–time profiles. However, when sodium chloride was not included in the gastric medium and phosphate buffer without bile salts and phospholipids were used as the intestinal medium, the three products exhibited nearly identical concentration profiles. Microscopic examination of DKT salt dissolution in the gastric medium containing sodium chloride identified that when calcium phosphate was present, the DKT dissolved without conversion to the less soluble free acid, which was consistent with the higher drug exposure of the non-BE formulation. In the absence of calcium phosphate, however, dexketoprofen trometamol salt dissolution began with a nano-phase formation that grew to a liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS) and formed the less soluble free acid crystals. This phenomenon was dependent on the salt/excipient concentrations and the presence of free acid crystals in the salt phase. This work demonstrated the importance of excipients and purity of salt phase on the evolution and rate of salt disproportionation pathways. Moreover, the presented data clearly showed the usefulness of the GIS apparatus as a discriminating tool that could highlight the differences in formulation behavior when utilizing physiologically-relevant media and experimental conditions in combination with microscopy imaging. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Mathematical Approach to Consider Solid Compressibility in the Compression of Pharmaceutical Powders
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030121
Received: 12 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 March 2019 / Published: 15 March 2019
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Abstract
In-die compression analysis is an effective method for the characterization of powder compressibility. However, physically unreasonable apparent solid fractions above one or apparent in-die porosities below zero are often calculated for higher compression stresses. One important reason for this is the neglect of [...] Read more.
In-die compression analysis is an effective method for the characterization of powder compressibility. However, physically unreasonable apparent solid fractions above one or apparent in-die porosities below zero are often calculated for higher compression stresses. One important reason for this is the neglect of solid compressibility and hence the assumption of a constant solid density. In this work, the solid compressibility of four pharmaceutical powders with different deformation behaviour is characterized using mercury porosimetry. The derived bulk moduli are applied for the calculation of in-die porosities. The change of in-die porosity due to the consideration of solid compressibility is for instance up to 4% for microcrystalline cellulose at a compression stress of 400 MPa and thus cannot be neglected for the calculation of in-die porosities. However, solid compressibility and further uncertainties from, for example the measured solid density and from the displacement sensors, are difficult or only partially accessible. Therefore, a mathematic term for the calculation of physically reasonable in-die porosities is introduced. This term can be used for the extension of common mathematical models, such as the models of Heckel and of Cooper & Eaton. Additionally, an extended in-die compression function is introduced to precisely describe the entire range of in-die porosity curves and to enable the successful differentiation and quantification of the compression behaviour of the investigated pharmaceutical powders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Powder Processing in Pharmaceutical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Functional Magnetic Core-Shell System-Based Iron Oxide Nanoparticle Coated with Biocompatible Copolymer for Anticancer Drug Delivery
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030120
Received: 21 February 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 15 March 2019
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Abstract
Polymer coating has drawn increasing attention as a leading strategy to overcome the drawbacks of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) in targeted delivery of anticancer drugs. In this study, SPIONs were modified with heparin-Poloxamer (HP) shell to form a [email protected] core-shell system for [...] Read more.
Polymer coating has drawn increasing attention as a leading strategy to overcome the drawbacks of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) in targeted delivery of anticancer drugs. In this study, SPIONs were modified with heparin-Poloxamer (HP) shell to form a [email protected] core-shell system for anticancer drug delivery. The obtained formulation was characterized by techniques including transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectra (FT-IR), vibration sample magnetometer (VSM), proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR), and powder X-ray diffraction (XRD). Results showed the successful attachment of HP shell on the surface of SPION core and the inability to cause considerable effects to the crystal structure and unique magnetic nature of SPION. The core-shell system maintains the morphological features of SPIONs and the desired size range. Notably, Doxorubicin (DOX), an anticancer drug, was effectively entrapped into the polymeric shell of [email protected], showing a loading efficiency of 66.9 ± 2.7% and controlled release up to 120 h without any initial burst effect. Additionally, MTT assay revealed that DOX-loaded [email protected] exerted great anticancer effect against HeLa cells and could be safely used. These results pave the way for the application of [email protected] as an effective targeted delivery system for cancer treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Nanohybrids for Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessReview
Computational Approaches in Theranostics: Mining and Predicting Cancer Data
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030119
Received: 12 January 2019 / Revised: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
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Abstract
The ability to understand the complexity of cancer-related data has been prompted by the applications of (1) computer and data sciences, including data mining, predictive analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, and (2) advances in imaging technology and probe development. Computational modelling and [...] Read more.
The ability to understand the complexity of cancer-related data has been prompted by the applications of (1) computer and data sciences, including data mining, predictive analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, and (2) advances in imaging technology and probe development. Computational modelling and simulation are systematic and cost-effective tools able to identify important temporal/spatial patterns (and relationships), characterize distinct molecular features of cancer states, and address other relevant aspects, including tumor detection and heterogeneity, progression and metastasis, and drug resistance. These approaches have provided invaluable insights for improving the experimental design of therapeutic delivery systems and for increasing the translational value of the results obtained from early and preclinical studies. The big question is: Could cancer theranostics be determined and controlled in silico? This review describes the recent progress in the development of computational models and methods used to facilitate research on the molecular basis of cancer and on the respective diagnosis and optimized treatment, with particular emphasis on the design and optimization of theranostic systems. The current role of computational approaches is providing innovative, incremental, and complementary data-driven solutions for the prediction, simplification, and characterization of cancer and intrinsic mechanisms, and to promote new data-intensive, accurate diagnostics and therapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotheranostics and Cancer: Where Are We Now?)
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Open AccessReview
Epilepsy Disease and Nose-to-Brain Delivery of Polymeric Nanoparticles: An Overview
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030118
Received: 20 January 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
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Abstract
Epilepsy is the fourth most common global neurological problem, which can be considered a spectrum disorder because of its various causes, seizure types, its ability to vary in severity and the impact from person to person, as well as its range of co-existing [...] Read more.
Epilepsy is the fourth most common global neurological problem, which can be considered a spectrum disorder because of its various causes, seizure types, its ability to vary in severity and the impact from person to person, as well as its range of co-existing conditions. The approaches to drug therapy of epilepsy are directed at the control of symptoms by chronic administration of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). These AEDs are administered orally or intravenously but alternative routes of administration are needed to overcome some important limits. Intranasal (IN) administration represents an attractive route because it is possible to reach the brain bypassing the blood brain barrier while the drug avoids first-pass metabolism. It is possible to obtain an increase in patient compliance for the easy and non-invasive route of administration. This route, however, has some drawbacks such as mucociliary clearance and the small volume that can be administered, in fact, only drugs that are efficacious at low doses can be considered. The drug also needs excellent aqueous solubility or must be able to be formulated using solubilizing agents. The use of nanomedicine formulations able to encapsulate active molecules represents a good strategy to overcome several limitations of this route and of conventional drugs. The aim of this review is to discuss the innovative application of nanomedicine for epilepsy treatment using nose-to-brain delivery with particular attention focused on polymeric nanoparticles to load drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nose to Brain Delivery)
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Open AccessReview
Effects of Silicon Compounds on Biomineralization, Osteogenesis, and Hard Tissue Formation
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030117
Received: 27 January 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 3 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Bioinspired stem cell-based hard tissue engineering includes numerous aspects: The synthesis and fabrication of appropriate scaffold materials, their analytical characterization, and guided osteogenesis using the sustained release of osteoinducing and/or osteoconducting drugs for mesenchymal stem cell differentiation, growth, and proliferation. Here, the effect [...] Read more.
Bioinspired stem cell-based hard tissue engineering includes numerous aspects: The synthesis and fabrication of appropriate scaffold materials, their analytical characterization, and guided osteogenesis using the sustained release of osteoinducing and/or osteoconducting drugs for mesenchymal stem cell differentiation, growth, and proliferation. Here, the effect of silicon- and silicate-containing materials on osteogenesis at the molecular level has been a particular focus within the last decade. This review summarizes recently published scientific results, including material developments and analysis, with a special focus on silicon hybrid bone composites. First, the sources, bioavailability, and functions of silicon on various tissues are discussed. The second focus is on the effects of calcium-silicate biomineralization and corresponding analytical methods in investigating osteogenesis and bone formation. Finally, recent developments in the manufacturing of Si-containing scaffolds are discussed, including in vitro and in vivo studies, as well as recently filed patents that focus on the influence of silicon on hard tissue formation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustained Release from Injectable Composite Gels Loaded with Silver Nanowires Designed to Combat Bacterial Resistance in Bone Regeneration Applications
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030116
Received: 16 February 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
One-dimensional nanostructures, such as silver nanowires (AgNWs), have attracted considerable attention owing to their outstanding electrical, thermal and antimicrobial properties. However, their application in the prevention of infections linked to bone tissue regeneration intervention has not yet been explored. Here we report on [...] Read more.
One-dimensional nanostructures, such as silver nanowires (AgNWs), have attracted considerable attention owing to their outstanding electrical, thermal and antimicrobial properties. However, their application in the prevention of infections linked to bone tissue regeneration intervention has not yet been explored. Here we report on the development of an innovative scaffold prepared from chitosan, composite hydroxyapatite and AgNWs (CS-HACS-AgNWs) having both bioactive and antibacterial properties. In vitro results highlighted the antibacterial potential of AgNWs against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The CS-HACS-AgNWs composite scaffold demonstrated suitable Ca/P deposition, improved gel strength, reduced gelation time, and sustained Ag+ release within therapeutic concentrations. Antibacterial studies showed that the composite formulation was capable of inhibiting bacterial growth in suspension, and able to completely prevent biofilm formation on the scaffold in the presence of resistant strains. The hydrogels were also shown to be biocompatible, allowing cell proliferation. In summary, the developed CS-HACS-AgNWs composite hydrogels demonstrated significant potential as a scaffold material to be employed in bone regenerative medicine, as they present enhanced mechanical strength combined with the ability to allow calcium salts deposition, while efficiently decreasing the risk of infections. The results presented justify further investigations into the potential clinical applications of these materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Delivery in Regenerative Medicine)
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