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Pharmaceutics, Volume 11, Issue 4 (April 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Lignin is a natural biopolymer with well-known antioxidant capabilities. This molecule is present [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Characteristics of Skin Deposition of Itraconazole Solubilized in Cream Formulation
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040195
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 16 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
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Abstract
Itraconazole (ITZ) is an anti-fungal agent generally used to treat cutaneous mycoses. For efficient delivery of ITZ to the skin tissues, an oil-in-water (O/W) cream formulation was developed. The O/W cream base was designed based on the solubility measurement of ITZ in various [...] Read more.
Itraconazole (ITZ) is an anti-fungal agent generally used to treat cutaneous mycoses. For efficient delivery of ITZ to the skin tissues, an oil-in-water (O/W) cream formulation was developed. The O/W cream base was designed based on the solubility measurement of ITZ in various excipients. A physical mixture of the O/W cream base and ITZ was also prepared as a control formulation to evaluate the effects of the solubilized state of ITZ in cream base on the in vitro skin deposition behavior of ITZ. Polarized light microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry demonstrated that ITZ was fully solubilized in the O/W cream formulation. The O/W cream formulation exhibited considerably enhanced deposition of ITZ in the stratum corneum, epidermis, and dermis compared with that of the physical mixture, largely owing to its high solubilization capacity for ITZ. Therefore, the O/W cream formulation of ITZ developed in this study is promising for the treatment of cutaneous mycoses caused by fungi such as dermatophytes and yeasts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of High, Disperse API Load on Properties along the Fused-Layer Modeling Process Chain of Solid Dosage Forms
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040194
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
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Abstract
In order to cope with the increasing number of multimorbid patients due to demographic changes, individualized polypill solutions must be developed. One promising tool is fused layer modeling (FLM) of dosage forms with patient-specific dose combinations and release individualization. As there are few [...] Read more.
In order to cope with the increasing number of multimorbid patients due to demographic changes, individualized polypill solutions must be developed. One promising tool is fused layer modeling (FLM) of dosage forms with patient-specific dose combinations and release individualization. As there are few approaches reported that systematically investigate the influence of high disperse active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) loads in filaments needed for FLM, this was the focus for the present study. Different filaments based on polyethylene oxide and hypromellose (HPMC) with different loads of theophylline as model API (up to 50 wt.%) were extruded with a twin-screw extruder and printed to dosage forms. Along the process chain, the following parameters were investigated: particle size and shape of theophylline; mechanical properties, microstructure, mass and content uniformity of filaments as well as dosage forms and the theophylline release from selected dosage forms. Especially for HPMC, increasing theophylline load enhanced the flexural strength of filaments whilst the FLM accuracy decreased inducing defects in microstructure. Theophylline load had no significant effect on the dissolution profile of HPMC-based dosage forms. Therefore, a thorough analysis of particle-induced effects is necessary to correlate mechanical properties of filaments, printability, and the dosage-and-release profile adjustment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of Pharmaceuticals and Drug Delivery Devices)
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Open AccessReview
Current State and Future Perspectives on Gastroretentive Drug Delivery Systems
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040193
Received: 9 March 2019 / Revised: 7 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 20 April 2019
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Abstract
In recent years, many attempts have been made to enhance the drug bioavailability and therapeutic effectiveness of oral dosage forms. In this context, various gastroretentive drug delivery systems (GRDDS) have been used to improve the therapeutic efficacy of drugs that have a narrow [...] Read more.
In recent years, many attempts have been made to enhance the drug bioavailability and therapeutic effectiveness of oral dosage forms. In this context, various gastroretentive drug delivery systems (GRDDS) have been used to improve the therapeutic efficacy of drugs that have a narrow absorption window, are unstable at alkaline pH, are soluble in acidic conditions, and are active locally in the stomach. In this review, we discuss the physiological state of the stomach and various factors that affect GRDDS. Recently applied gastrointestinal technologies such as expandable, superporous hydrogel; bio/mucoadhesive, magnetic, ion-exchange resin; and low- and high-density-systems have also been examined along with their merits and demerits. The significance of in vitro and in vivo evaluation parameters of various GRDDS is summarized along with their applications. Moreover, future perspectives on this technology are discussed to minimize the gastric emptying rate in both the fasted and fed states. Overall, this review may inform and guide formulation scientists in designing the GRDDS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Salbutamol Delivery Efficiency for Jet versus Mesh Nebulizer Using Mice
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040192
Received: 12 February 2019 / Revised: 11 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
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Abstract
Recent reports using a breathing simulator system have suggested that mesh nebulizers provide more effective medication delivery than jet nebulizers. In this study, the performances of jet and mesh nebulizers were evaluated by comparing their aerosol drug delivery efficiencies in mice. We compared [...] Read more.
Recent reports using a breathing simulator system have suggested that mesh nebulizers provide more effective medication delivery than jet nebulizers. In this study, the performances of jet and mesh nebulizers were evaluated by comparing their aerosol drug delivery efficiencies in mice. We compared four home nebulizers: two jet nebulizers (PARI BOY SX with red and blue nozzles), a static mesh nebulizer (NE-U22), and a vibrating mesh nebulizer (NE-SM1). After mice were exposed to salbutamol aerosol, the levels of salbutamol in serum and lung were estimated by enzyme linked immunoassay (ELISA). The residual volume of salbutamol was the largest at 34.6% in PARI BOY SX, while the values for NE-U22 and NE-SM1 mesh nebulizers were each less than 1%. The salbutamol delivery efficiencies of NE-U22 and NE-SM1 were higher than that of PARI BOY SX, as the total delivered amounts of lung and serum were 39.9% and 141.7% as compared to PARI BOY SX, respectively. The delivery efficiency of the mesh nebulizer was better than that of the jet nebulizer. Although the jet nebulizer can generate smaller aerosol particles than the mesh nebulizer used in this study, the output rate of the jet nebulizer is low, resulting in lower salbutamol delivery efficiency. Therefore, clinical validation of the drug delivery efficiency according to nebulizer type is necessary to avoid overdose and reduced drug wastage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An In Vitro Study of the Influence of Curcuma longa Extracts on the Microbiota Modulation Process, In Patients with Hypertension
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040191
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
The multiple causes of cardiovascular diseases signify a major incidence and developmental risk of this pathology. One of the processes accountable for this pathologic development is the instauration of dysbiosis and its connection with an inflammatory process. Low antioxidant colonic protection encourages the [...] Read more.
The multiple causes of cardiovascular diseases signify a major incidence and developmental risk of this pathology. One of the processes accountable for this pathologic development is the instauration of dysbiosis and its connection with an inflammatory process. Low antioxidant colonic protection encourages the progression of inflammation, with cardiovascular dysfunctions being a secondary consequence of the dysbiosis. Curcumin is one of the bioactive compounds displaying promising results for the reduction of an inflammatory process. The present study aims at demonstrating the capacity of three extracts drawn from Curcuma (C.) longa through an in vitro simulation process, for microbiota modulation in patients with hypertension. The acidic pH in the extraction process determined a high curcumin content in the extracts. The major phenolic compound identified was curcumin III, 622 ± 6.88 µg/mL for the ethanol/water/acetic acid extract. Low EC50 values were associated (0.2 µg/mL for DPPH scavenging activity) with the presence of curcumin isomers. A metabolic pattern became evident because the relationship between the short-chain fatty acids acted as a clinical biomarker. The curcumin present stimulated the formation of butyric and propionic acids. Microbiota activity control included a high degree of curcumin degradation and biotransformation in the other phenolic compounds. This developmental process was supported by the progression in the enterobacteria with a corresponding escalation in the pH level. The metabolomic pattern demonstrated a performance similar to the administration of dietary fibre, with the positive effects being dose-dependent. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Physicochemical Stability of Liquid Oral Dosage Forms Free of Potentially Harmful Excipient Designed for Pediatric Patients
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040190
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
Dexamethasone, hydrochlorothiazide, spironolactone, and phenytoin are commonly used in neonates, but no age-appropriate formulation containing these active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) is commercially available. Thus, pharmaceutical compounding of the liquid oral dosage form is required to enable newborn administration. A problem common to the [...] Read more.
Dexamethasone, hydrochlorothiazide, spironolactone, and phenytoin are commonly used in neonates, but no age-appropriate formulation containing these active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) is commercially available. Thus, pharmaceutical compounding of the liquid oral dosage form is required to enable newborn administration. A problem common to the compounded preparations described in the literature is that they include potentially harmful excipients (PHEs). Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of compounding oral liquid dosage forms free of PHE, containing dexamethasone, hydrochlorothiazide, phenytoin, or spironolactone and to assess their physicochemical stability. Due to the poor water solubility of the targeted APIs, oral suspensions were compounded using Syrspend® SF-PH4 Dry, a suspending vehicle free of PHE. Four HPLC coupled to UV spectrometry (HPLC-UV) stability-indicating methods were developed and validated according to international guidelines to assay the strength of the targeted APIs. Whatever storage condition was used (5 ± 3 °C or 22 ± 4 °C), no significant degradation of API occurred in compounded oral suspensions. Overall, the results attest to the physical and chemical stability of the four oral liquid dosage forms over 60 days under regular storage temperatures. Finally, the use of the proposed oral suspensions provides a reliable solution to reduce the exposure of children to potentially harmful excipients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Intestinal Permeability and Plasma Concentration of Metformin in Rats by the Repeated Administration of Red Ginseng Extract
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040189
Received: 1 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
We aimed to assess the potential herb–drug interactions between Korean red ginseng extract (RGE) and metformin in rats in terms of the modulation of metformin transporters, such as organic cation transporter (Oct), multiple toxin and extrusion protein (Mate), and plasma membrane monoamine transporter [...] Read more.
We aimed to assess the potential herb–drug interactions between Korean red ginseng extract (RGE) and metformin in rats in terms of the modulation of metformin transporters, such as organic cation transporter (Oct), multiple toxin and extrusion protein (Mate), and plasma membrane monoamine transporter (Pmat). Single treatment of RGE did not inhibit the in vitro transport activity of OCT1/2 up to 500 µg/mL and inhibited MATE1/2-K with high IC50 value (more than 147.8 µg/mL), suggesting that concomitant used of RGE did not directly inhibit OCT- and MATE-mediated metformin uptake. However, 1-week repeated administration of RGE (1.5 g/kg/day) (1WRA) to rats showed different alterations in mRNA levels of Oct1 depending on the tissue type. RGE increased intestinal Oct1 but decreased hepatic Oct1. However, neither renal Oct1/Oct2 nor Mate1/Pmat expression in duodenum, jejunum, ileum, liver, and kidney were changed in 1WRA rats. RGE repeated dose also increased the intestinal permeability of metformin; however, the permeability of 3-O-methyl-d-glucose and Lucifer yellow was not changed in 1WRA rats, suggesting that the increased permeability of metformin by multiple doses of RGE is substrate-specific. On pharmacokinetic analysis, plasma metformin concentrations following intravenous injection were not changed in 1WRA, consistent with no significant change in renal Oct1, Oct2, and mate1. Repeated doses of RGE for 1 week significantly increased the plasma concentration of metformin, with increased half-life and urinary excretion of metformin following oral administration of metformin (50 mg/kg), which could be attributed to the increased absorption of metformin. In conclusion, repeated administration of RGE showed in vivo pharmacokinetic herb–drug interaction with metformin, with regard to its plasma exposure and increased absorption in rats. These results were consistent with increased intestinal Oct1 and its functional consequence, therefore, the combined therapeutic efficacy needs further evaluation before the combination and repeated administration of RGE and metformin, an Oct1 substrate drug. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Co-Delivery of M2e Virus-Like Particles with Influenza Split Vaccine to the Skin Using Microneedles Enhances the Efficacy of Cross Protection
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040188
Received: 20 March 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
It is a high priority to develop a simple and effective delivery method for a cross-protective influenza vaccine. We investigated skin immunization by microneedle (MN) patch with human influenza split vaccine and virus-like particles containing heterologous M2 extracellular (M2e) domains (M2e5x virus-like particles [...] Read more.
It is a high priority to develop a simple and effective delivery method for a cross-protective influenza vaccine. We investigated skin immunization by microneedle (MN) patch with human influenza split vaccine and virus-like particles containing heterologous M2 extracellular (M2e) domains (M2e5x virus-like particles (VLP)) as a cross-protective influenza vaccine candidate. Co-delivery of influenza split vaccine and M2e5x VLP to the skin by MN patch was found to confer effective protection against heterosubtypic influenza virus by preventing weight loss and reducing lung viral loads. Compared to intramuscular immunization, MN-based delivery of combined split vaccine and M2e5x VLPs shaped cellular immune responses toward T helper type 1 responses increasing IgG2a isotype antibodies as well as IFN-γ producing cells in mucosal and systemic sites. This study provides evidence that potential immunological and logistic benefits of M2e5x VLP with human influenza split vaccine delivered by MN patch can be used to develop an easy-to-administer cross-protective influenza vaccine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Delivery Systems Using Various Microneedle Technologies)
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Open AccessArticle
Gellan Gum/Laponite Beads for the Modified Release of Drugs: Experimental and Modeling Study of Gastrointestinal Release
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040187
Received: 19 March 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
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Abstract
In this study, gellan gum (GG), a natural polysaccharide, was used to fabricate spherical porous beads suitable as sustained drug delivery systems for oral administration. GG was cross-linked with calcium ions to prepare polymeric beads. Rheological studies and preliminary experiments of beads preparation [...] Read more.
In this study, gellan gum (GG), a natural polysaccharide, was used to fabricate spherical porous beads suitable as sustained drug delivery systems for oral administration. GG was cross-linked with calcium ions to prepare polymeric beads. Rheological studies and preliminary experiments of beads preparation allowed to identify the GG and the CaCl2 concentrations suitable for obtaining stable and spherical particles. GG beads were formed, through ionotropic gelation technique, with and without the presence of the synthetic clay laponite. The resultant beads were analyzed for dimensions (before and after freeze-drying), morphological aspects and ability to swell in different media miming biological fluids, namely SGF (Simulated Gastric Fluid, HCl 0.1 M) and SIF (Simulated Intestinal Fluid, phosphate buffer, 0.044 M, pH 7.4). The swelling degree was lower in SGF than in SIF and further reduced in the presence of laponite. The GG and GG-layered silicate composite beads were loaded with two model drugs having different molecular weight, namely theophylline and cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) and subjected to in-vitro release studies in SGF and SIF. The presence of laponite in the bead formulation increased the drug entrapment efficiency and slowed-down the release kinetics of both drugs in the gastric environment. A moving-boundary swelling model with “diffuse” glassy-rubbery interface was proposed in order to describe the swelling behavior of porous freeze-dried beads. Consistently with the swelling model adopted, two moving-boundary drug release models were developed to interpret release data from highly porous beads of different drugs: drug molecules, e.g., theophylline, that exhibit a typical Fickian behavior of release curves and drugs, such as vitamin B12, whose release curves are affected by the physical/chemical interaction of the drug with the polymer/clay complex. Theoretical results support the experimental observations, thus confirming that laponite may be an effective additive for fabricating sustained drug delivery systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Phospholipid-Based Prodrugs for Colon-Targeted Drug Delivery: Experimental Study and In-Silico Simulations
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040186
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 7 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
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Abstract
In ulcerative colitis (UC), the inflammation is localized in the colon, and one of the successful strategies for colon-targeting drug delivery is the prodrug approach. In this work, we present a novel phospholipid (PL)-based prodrug approach, as a tool for colonic drug targeting [...] Read more.
In ulcerative colitis (UC), the inflammation is localized in the colon, and one of the successful strategies for colon-targeting drug delivery is the prodrug approach. In this work, we present a novel phospholipid (PL)-based prodrug approach, as a tool for colonic drug targeting in UC. We aim to use the phospholipase A2 (PLA2), an enzyme that is overexpressed in the inflamed colonic tissues of UC patients, as the PL-prodrug activating enzyme, to accomplish the liberation of the parent drug from the prodrug complex at the specific diseased tissue(s). Different linker lengths between the PL and the drug moiety can dictate the rate of activation by PLA2, and subsequently determine the amount of free drugs at the site of action. The feasibility of this approach was studied with newly synthesized PL-Fmoc (fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl) conjugates, using Fmoc as a model compound for testing our hypothesis. In vitro incubation with bee venom PLA2 demonstrated that a 7-carbon linker between the PL and Fmoc has higher activation rate than a 5-carbon linker. 4-fold higher colonic expression of PLA2 was demonstrated in colonic mucosa of colitis-induced rats when compared to healthy animals, validating our hypothesis of a colitis-targeting prodrug approach. Next, a novel molecular dynamics (MD) simulation was developed for PL-based prodrugs containing clinically relevant drugs. PL-methotrexate conjugate with 6-carbon linker showed the highest extent of PLA2-mediated activation, whereas shorter linkers were activated to a lower extent. In conclusion, this work demonstrates that for carefully designed PL-drug conjugates, PLA2 overexpression in inflamed colonic tissues can be used as prodrug-activating enzyme and drug targeting strategy, including insights into the activation mechanisms in a PLA2 binding site. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Characterization of Liposomal Formulations Containing Phytosterols Extracted from Canola Oil Deodorizer Distillate along with Tocopherols as Food Additives
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040185
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
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Abstract
Phytosterols are plant sterols recommended as adjuvant therapy for hypercholesterolemia and tocopherols are well-established anti-oxidants. However, thermo-sensitivity, lipophilicity and formulation-dependent efficacy bring challenges in the development of functional foods, enriched with phytosterols and tocopherols. To address this, we developed liposomes containing brassicasterol, campesterol [...] Read more.
Phytosterols are plant sterols recommended as adjuvant therapy for hypercholesterolemia and tocopherols are well-established anti-oxidants. However, thermo-sensitivity, lipophilicity and formulation-dependent efficacy bring challenges in the development of functional foods, enriched with phytosterols and tocopherols. To address this, we developed liposomes containing brassicasterol, campesterol and β-sitosterol obtained from canola oil deodorizer distillate, along with alpha, gamma and delta tocopherol. Three approaches; thin film hydration-homogenization, thin film hydration-ultrasonication and Mozafari method were used for formulation. Validated liquid chromatographic tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was utilized to determine the entrapment efficiency of bioactives. Stability studies of liposomal formulations were conducted before and after pasteurization using high temperature short time (HTST) technique for a month. Vesicle size after homogenization and ultrasonication (<200 nm) was significantly lower than by Mozafari method (>200 nm). However, zeta potential (−9 to −14 mV) was comparable which was adequate for colloidal stability. Entrapment efficiencies were greater than 89% for all the phytosterols and tocopherols formulated by all three methods. Liposomes with optimum particle size and zeta potential were incorporated in model orange juice, showing adequate stability after pasteurization (72 °C for 15 s) for a month. Liposomes containing phytosterols obtained from canola waste along with tocopherols were developed and successfully applied as a food additive using model orange juice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Delivery Technology Development in Canada)
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Open AccessArticle
Design of Poly(lactic-co-glycolic Acid) (PLGA) Nanoparticles for Vaginal Co-Delivery of Griffithsin and Dapivirine and Their Synergistic Effect for HIV Prophylaxis
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040184
Received: 21 February 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
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Abstract
Long-acting topical products for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) that combine antiretrovirals (ARVs) inhibiting initial stages of infection are highly promising for prevention of HIV sexual transmission. We fabricated core-shell poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) nanoparticles, loaded with two potent ARVs, griffithsin (GRFT) and dapivirine (DPV), [...] Read more.
Long-acting topical products for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) that combine antiretrovirals (ARVs) inhibiting initial stages of infection are highly promising for prevention of HIV sexual transmission. We fabricated core-shell poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) nanoparticles, loaded with two potent ARVs, griffithsin (GRFT) and dapivirine (DPV), having different physicochemical properties and specifically targeting the fusion and reverse transcription steps of HIV replication, as a potential long-acting microbicide product. The nanoparticles were evaluated for particle size and zeta potential, drug release, cytotoxicity, cellular uptake and in vitro bioactivity. PLGA nanoparticles, with diameter around 180–200 nm, successfully encapsulated GRFT (45% of initially added) and DPV (70%). Both drugs showed a biphasic release with initial burst phase followed by a sustained release phase. GRFT and DPV nanoparticles were non-toxic and maintained bioactivity (IC50 values of 0.5 nM and 4.7 nM, respectively) in a cell-based assay. The combination of drugs in both unformulated and encapsulated in nanoparticles showed strong synergistic drug activity at 1:1 ratio of IC50 values. This is the first study to co-deliver a protein (GRFT) and a hydrophobic small molecule (DPV) in PLGA nanoparticles as microbicides. Our findings demonstrate that the combination of GRFT and DPV in nanoparticles is highly potent and possess properties critical to the design of a sustained release microbicide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Approaches for Delivery of Anti-HIV Drugs)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Evaluation of Topically Applied Azithromycin Based on Sodium Hyaluronate in Treatment of Conjunctivitis
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040183
Received: 16 February 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
Azithromycin (AZI) eye drops containing sodium hyaluronate (SH) were developed to improve the bioavailability of AZI. Interaction between AZI and SH in the AZI-SH formulation was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, and 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy analyses. Moreover, advantages of [...] Read more.
Azithromycin (AZI) eye drops containing sodium hyaluronate (SH) were developed to improve the bioavailability of AZI. Interaction between AZI and SH in the AZI-SH formulation was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, and 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy analyses. Moreover, advantages of using SH as an excipient were investigated by comparing physiological properties and pharmacokinetic behaviors of SH-containing AZI eye drops with that of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC)-containing formulation. In addition, safety of the developed AZI-SH eye drops was evaluated by in vitro 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-Thiazyl)-2, 5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide assay (MTT assay) and neutral red uptake assay as well as in vivo eye irritation test and acute toxicity test. The results indicated that AZI formed a complex with SH under a slightly acidic condition. The area under the curve (AUC) of AZI in SH-containing formulation was 1.58-fold higher (P < 0.01) than that in HPMC-containing formulation due to the interaction between the amine group of AZI and the carboxyl group of SH, despite of the higher viscosity of HPMC-containing formulation. Safety evaluation showed that AZI-SH eye drops caused no obvious eye irritation and acute toxicity. In conclusion, the developed SH-containing AZI formulation possessing advantages of longer retention time and higher drug availability was a promising drug formulation for topical ocular therapy. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Electrospun Nanofibers for Tissue Engineering with Drug Loading and Release
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040182
Received: 17 December 2018 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
Electrospinning technologies have been applied in the field of tissue engineering as materials, with nanoscale-structures and high porosity, can be easily prepared via this method to bio-mimic the natural extracellular matrix (ECM). Tissue engineering aims to fabricate functional biomaterials for the repairment and [...] Read more.
Electrospinning technologies have been applied in the field of tissue engineering as materials, with nanoscale-structures and high porosity, can be easily prepared via this method to bio-mimic the natural extracellular matrix (ECM). Tissue engineering aims to fabricate functional biomaterials for the repairment and regeneration of defective tissue. In addition to the structural simulation for accelerating the repair process and achieving a high-quality regeneration, the combination of biomaterials and bioactive molecules is required for an ideal tissue-engineering scaffold. Due to the diversity in materials and method selection for electrospinning, a great flexibility in drug delivery systems can be achieved. Various drugs including antibiotic agents, vitamins, peptides, and proteins can be incorporated into electrospun scaffolds using different electrospinning techniques and drug-loading methods. This is a review of recent research on electrospun nanofibrous scaffolds for tissue-engineering applications, the development of preparation methods, and the delivery of various bioactive molecules. These studies are based on the fabrication of electrospun biomaterials for the repair of blood vessels, nerve tissues, cartilage, bone defects, and the treatment of aneurysms and skin wounds, as well as their applications related to oral mucosa and dental fields. In these studies, due to the optimal selection of drugs and loading methods based on electrospinning, in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that these scaffolds exhibited desirable effects for the repair and treatment of damaged tissue and, thus, have excellent potential for clinical application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun and Electrosprayed Formulations for Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Cationic Lipid Type in Folate-PEG-Modified Cationic Liposomes on Folate Receptor-Mediated siRNA Transfection in Tumor Cells
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040181
Received: 12 March 2019 / Revised: 6 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
In this study, we examined the effect of cationic lipid type in folate (FA)-polyethylene glycol (PEG)-modified cationic liposomes on gene-silencing effects in tumor cells using cationic liposomes/siRNA complexes (siRNA lipoplexes). We used three types of cationic cholesterol derivatives, cholesteryl (3-((2-hydroxyethyl)amino)propyl)carbamate hydroiodide (HAPC-Chol), N [...] Read more.
In this study, we examined the effect of cationic lipid type in folate (FA)-polyethylene glycol (PEG)-modified cationic liposomes on gene-silencing effects in tumor cells using cationic liposomes/siRNA complexes (siRNA lipoplexes). We used three types of cationic cholesterol derivatives, cholesteryl (3-((2-hydroxyethyl)amino)propyl)carbamate hydroiodide (HAPC-Chol), N-(2-(2-hydroxyethylamino)ethyl)cholesteryl-3-carboxamide (OH-Chol), and cholesteryl (2-((2-hydroxyethyl)amino)ethyl)carbamate (OH-C-Chol), and we prepared three types of FA-PEG-modified siRNA lipoplexes. The modification of cationic liposomes with 1–2 mol % PEG-lipid abolished the gene-silencing effect in human nasopharyngeal tumor KB cells, which overexpress the FA receptor (FR). In contrast, FA-PEG-modification of cationic liposomes restored gene-silencing activity regardless of the cationic lipid type in cationic liposomes. However, the optimal amount of PEG-lipid and FA-PEG-lipid in cationic liposomes for selective gene silencing and cellular uptake were different among the three types of cationic liposomes. Furthermore, in vitro transfection of polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) siRNA by FA-PEG-modified liposomes exhibited strong cytotoxicity in KB cells, compared with PEG-modified liposomes; however, in in vivo therapy, intratumoral injection of PEG-modified PLK1 siRNA lipoplexes inhibited tumor growth of KB xenografts, as well as that of FA-PEG-modified PLK1 siRNA lipoplexes. From these results, the optimal formulation of PEG- and FA-PEG-modified liposomes for FR-selective gene silencing might be different between in vitro and in vivo transfection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Delivery of siRNA Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle
In Vivo Biocompatibility of Electrospun Biodegradable Dual Carrier (Antibiotic + Growth Factor) in a Mouse Model—Implications for Rapid Wound Healing
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040180
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 14 April 2019
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Abstract
Tissue engineering technologies involving growth factors have produced one of the most advanced generations of diabetic wound healing solutions. Using this approach, a nanocomposite carrier was designed using Poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA)/Gelatin polymer solutions for the simultaneous release of [...] Read more.
Tissue engineering technologies involving growth factors have produced one of the most advanced generations of diabetic wound healing solutions. Using this approach, a nanocomposite carrier was designed using Poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA)/Gelatin polymer solutions for the simultaneous release of recombinant human epidermal growth factor (rhEGF) and gentamicin sulfate at the wound site to hasten the process of diabetic wound healing and inactivation of bacterial growth. The physicochemical characterization of the fabricated scaffolds was carried out using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ay diffraction (XRD). The scaffolds were analyzed for thermal stability using thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry. The porosity, biodegradability, and swelling behavior of the scaffolds was also evaluated. Encapsulation efficiency, drug loading capacity, and in vitro drug release were also investigated. Further, the bacterial inhibition percentage and detailed in vivo biocompatibility for wound healing efficiency was performed on diabetic C57BL6 mice with dorsal wounds. The scaffolds exhibited excellent wound healing and continuous proliferation of cells for 12 days. These results support the applicability of such systems in rapid healing of diabetic wounds and ulcers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Development of Electrospinning for Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle
Biodistribution and Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling of Gold Nanoparticles in Mice with Interspecies Extrapolation
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040179
Received: 14 February 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
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Abstract
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are a focus of growing medical research applications due to their unique chemical, electrical and optical properties. Because of uncertain toxicity, “green” synthesis methods are emerging, using plant extracts to improve biological and environmental compatibility. Here we explore the biodistribution [...] Read more.
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are a focus of growing medical research applications due to their unique chemical, electrical and optical properties. Because of uncertain toxicity, “green” synthesis methods are emerging, using plant extracts to improve biological and environmental compatibility. Here we explore the biodistribution of green AuNPs in mice and prepare a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model to guide interspecies extrapolation. Monodisperse AuNPs were synthesized and capped with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and curcumin. 64 CD-1 mice received the AuNPs by intraperitoneal injection. To assess biodistribution, groups of six mice were sacrificed at 1, 7, 14, 28 and 56 days, and their organs were analyzed for gold content using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). A physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model was developed to describe the biodistribution data in mice. To assess the potential for interspecies extrapolation, organism-specific parameters in the model were adapted to represent rats, and the rat PBPK model was subsequently evaluated with PK data for citrate-capped AuNPs from literature. The liver and spleen displayed strong uptake, and the PBPK model suggested that extravasation and phagocytosis were key drivers. Organ predictions following interspecies extrapolation were successful for rats receiving citrate-capped AuNPs. This work lays the foundation for the pre-clinical extrapolation of the pharmacokinetics of AuNPs from mice to larger species. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Short and Long-Term Effects of the Exposure of Breast Cancer Cell Lines to Different Ratios of Free or Co-Encapsulated Liposomal Paclitaxel and Doxorubicin
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040178
Received: 10 March 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 31 March 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Background: Associating paclitaxel (PTX) to doxorubicin (DXR) is one of the main chemotherapy strategies for breast cancer (BC) management. Protocols currently available consist in administering both drugs on their maximum tolerated dose, not taking into account the possible differences in efficacy due to [...] Read more.
Background: Associating paclitaxel (PTX) to doxorubicin (DXR) is one of the main chemotherapy strategies for breast cancer (BC) management. Protocols currently available consist in administering both drugs on their maximum tolerated dose, not taking into account the possible differences in efficacy due to their combination ratio. In the present study, the short and long-term cytotoxic effects as well as migratory effects of PTX, DXR, and its combinations at 10:1; 1:1 and 1:10 PTX:DXR molar ratios either free or co-encapsulated in liposomes were evaluated against three human BC cell lines (MDA-MB-231, MCF-7, and SKBR-3). Method: The MTT assay was used to screen for synergy or antagonism between PTX and DXR and the combination index value was calculated using the CalcuSyn software. Nuclear morphological alterations were evaluated by staining the cells with Hoescht 33342. The investigation of senescence and clonogenicity of BC cell lines exposed to different treatments was also studied. In addition, the ability of these cells to migrate was assessed. Results: Taken together, the results presented herein allow us to suggest that there is no benefit in enhancing the PTX concentration above that of DXR in the combination for any of the three cell lines tested. Conclusion: The developed liposomes co-encapsulating PTX and DXR in different molar ratios retained the biological properties of the mixture of free drugs and are valuable for planning new therapeutic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Drug Delivery Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Cell Internalization in Fluidic Culture Conditions Is Improved When Microparticles Are Specifically Targeted to the Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2)
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040177
Received: 21 February 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Purpose: To determine if the specific targeting of microparticles improves their internalization by cells under fluidic conditions. Methods: Two isogenic breast epithelial cell lines, one overexpressing the Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2) oncogene (D492HER2) and highly tumorigenic and the other expressing [...] Read more.
Purpose: To determine if the specific targeting of microparticles improves their internalization by cells under fluidic conditions. Methods: Two isogenic breast epithelial cell lines, one overexpressing the Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2) oncogene (D492HER2) and highly tumorigenic and the other expressing HER2 at much lower levels and non-tumorigenic (D492), were cultured in the presence of polystyrene microparticles of 1 µm in diameter, biofunctionalized with either a specific anti-HER2 antibody or a non-specific secondary antibody. Mono- and cocultures of both cell lines in static and fluidic conditions were performed, and the cells with internalized microparticles were scored. Results: Globally, the D492 cell line showed a higher endocytic capacity than the D492HER2 cell line. Microparticles that were functionalized with the anti-HER2 antibody were internalized by a higher percentage of cells than microparticles functionalized with the non-specific secondary antibody. Although internalization was reduced in fluidic culture conditions in comparison with static conditions, the increase in the internalization of microparticles biofunctionalized with the anti-HER2 antibody was higher for the cell line overexpressing HER2. Conclusion: The biofunctionalization of microparticles with a specific targeting molecule remarkably increases their internalization by cells in fluidic culture conditions (simulating the blood stream). This result emphasizes the importance of targeting for future in vivo delivery of drugs and bioactive molecules through microparticles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dual pH/Redox-Responsive Mixed Polymeric Micelles for Anticancer Drug Delivery and Controlled Release
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040176
Received: 19 March 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Stimuli-responsive polymeric micelles (PMs) have shown great potential in drug delivery and controlled release in cancer chemotherapy. Herein, inspired by the features of the tumor microenvironment, we developed dual pH/redox-responsive mixed PMs which are self-assembled from two kinds of amphiphilic diblock copolymers (poly(ethylene [...] Read more.
Stimuli-responsive polymeric micelles (PMs) have shown great potential in drug delivery and controlled release in cancer chemotherapy. Herein, inspired by the features of the tumor microenvironment, we developed dual pH/redox-responsive mixed PMs which are self-assembled from two kinds of amphiphilic diblock copolymers (poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether-b-poly(β-amino esters) (mPEG-b-PAE) and poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether-grafted disulfide-poly(β-amino esters) (PAE-ss-mPEG)) for anticancer drug delivery and controlled release. The co-micellization of two copolymers is evaluated by measurement of critical micelle concentration (CMC) values at different ratios of the two copolymers. The pH/redox-responsiveness of PMs is thoroughly investigated by measurement of base dissociation constant (pKb) value, particle size, and zeta-potential in different conditions. The PMs can encapsulate doxorubicin (DOX) efficiently, with high drug-loading efficacy. The DOX was released due to the swelling and disassembly of nanoparticles triggered by low pH and high glutathione (GSH) concentrations in tumor cells. The in vitro results demonstrated that drug release rate and cumulative release are obviously dependent on pH values and reducing agents. Furthermore, the cytotoxicity test showed that the mixed PMs have negligible toxicity, whereas the DOX-loaded mixed PMs exhibit high cytotoxicity for HepG2 cells. Therefore, the results demonstrate that the dual pH/redox-responsive PMs self-assembled from PAE-based diblock copolymers could be potential anticancer drug delivery carriers with pH/redox-triggered drug release, and the fabrication of stimuli-responsive mixed PMs could be an efficient strategy for preparation of intelligent drug delivery platform for disease therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Organizing Nanovectors for Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle
Modulation of the Release of a Non-Interacting Low Solubility Drug from Chitosan Pellets Using Different Pellet Size, Composition and Numerical Optimization
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040175
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 6 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 10 April 2019
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Abstract
Two size classes of piroxicam (PXC) pellets (mini (380–550 μm) and conventional (700–1200 μm)) were prepared using extrusion/spheronization and medium viscosity chitosan (CHS). Mixture experimental design and numerical optimization were applied to distinguish formulations producing high sphericity pellets with fast or extended release. [...] Read more.
Two size classes of piroxicam (PXC) pellets (mini (380–550 μm) and conventional (700–1200 μm)) were prepared using extrusion/spheronization and medium viscosity chitosan (CHS). Mixture experimental design and numerical optimization were applied to distinguish formulations producing high sphericity pellets with fast or extended release. High CHS content required greater wetting liquid volume for pellet formation and the diameter decreased linearly with volume. Sphericity increased with CHS for low-to-medium drug content. Application of PXRD showed that the drug was a mixture of form II and I. Crystallinity decreased due to processing and was significant at 5% drug content. Raman spectroscopy showed no interactions. At pH 1.2, the dissolved CHS increased ‘apparent’ drug solubility up to 0.24 mg/mL while, at pH 5.6, the suspended CHS increased ‘apparent’ solubility to 0.16 mg/mL. Release at pH 1.2 was fast for formulations with intermediate CHS and drug levels. At pH 5.6, conventional pellets showed incomplete release while mini pellets with a CHS/drug ratio ≥2 and up to 21.25% drug, showed an extended release that was completed within 8 h. Numerical optimization provided optimal formulations for fast release at pH 1.2 with drug levels up to 40% as well as for extended release formulations with drug levels of 5% and 10%. The Weibull model described the release kinetics indicating complex or combined release (parameter ‘b’ > 0.75) for release at pH 1.2, and normal diffusion for the mini pellets at pH 5.6 (‘b’ from 0.63 to 0.73). The above results were attributed mainly to the different pellet sizes and the extensive dissolution/erosion of the gel matrix was observed at pH 1.2 but not at pH 5.6. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymers for Controlled Drug Release)
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Open AccessArticle
Polyelectrolytes in Hot Melt Extrusion: A Combined Solvent-Based and Interacting Additive Technique for Solid Dispersions
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040174
Received: 25 February 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 5 April 2019 / Published: 10 April 2019
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Abstract
Solid dispersions are important supersaturating formulations to orally deliver poorly water-soluble drugs. A most important process technique is hot melt extrusion but process requirements limit the choice of suitable polymers. One way around this limitation is to synthesize new polymers. However, their disadvantage [...] Read more.
Solid dispersions are important supersaturating formulations to orally deliver poorly water-soluble drugs. A most important process technique is hot melt extrusion but process requirements limit the choice of suitable polymers. One way around this limitation is to synthesize new polymers. However, their disadvantage is that they require toxicological qualification and present regulatory hurdles for their market authorization. Therefore, this study follows an alternative approach, where new polymeric matrices are created by combining a known polymer, small molecular additives, and an initial solvent-based process step. The polyelectrolyte, carboxymethylcellulose sodium (NaCMC), was tested in combination with different additives such as amino acids, meglumine, trometamol, and urea. It was possible to obtain a new polyelectrolyte matrix that was viable for manufacturing by hot melt extrusion. The amount of additives had to be carefully tuned to obtain an amorphous polymer matrix. This was achieved by probing the matrix using several analytical techniques, such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, hot stage microscopy, and X-ray powder diffraction. Next, the obtained matrices had to be examined to ensure the homogeneous distribution of the components and the possible residual crystallinity. As this analysis requires probing a sample on several points and relies on high quality data, X-ray diffraction and starring techniques at a synchrotron source had to be used. Particularly promising with NaCMC was the addition of lysine as well as meglumine. Further research is needed to harness the novel matrix with drugs in amorphous formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Solid Dispersion Technology)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a Transdermal Delivery System for Tenofovir Alafenamide, a Prodrug of Tenofovir with Potent Antiviral Activity Against HIV and HBV
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040173
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
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Abstract
Tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) is an effective nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor that is used in the treatment of HIV-1 and HBV. Currently, it is being investigated for HIV prophylaxis. Oral TAF regimens require daily intake, which hampers adherence and increases the possibility of viral [...] Read more.
Tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) is an effective nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor that is used in the treatment of HIV-1 and HBV. Currently, it is being investigated for HIV prophylaxis. Oral TAF regimens require daily intake, which hampers adherence and increases the possibility of viral resistance. Long-acting formulations would significantly reduce this problem. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop a transdermal patch containing TAF and investigate its performance in vitro through human epidermis. Two types of TAF patches were manufactured. Transparent patches were prepared using acrylate adhesive (DURO-TAK 87-2516), and suspension patches were prepared using silicone (BIO-PSA 7-4301) and polyisobutylene (DURO-TAK 87-6908) adhesives. In vitro permeation studies were performed while using vertical Franz diffusion cells for seven days. An optimized silicone-based patch was characterized for its adhesive properties and tested for skin irritation. The acrylate-based patches, comprising 2% w/w TAF and a combination of chemical enhancers, showed a maximum flux of 0.60 ± 0.09 µg/cm2/h. However, the silicone-based patch comprising of 15% w/w TAF showed the highest permeation (7.24 ± 0.47 μg/cm2/h). This study demonstrates the feasibility of developing silicone-based transdermal patches that can deliver a therapeutically relevant dose of TAF for the control of HIV and HBV infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Approaches for Delivery of Anti-HIV Drugs)
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Open AccessMeeting Report
Age-Related Medicine
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040172
Received: 31 March 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
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Abstract
A meeting organised by the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences focussed on the challenges of developing medicines for older adults. International experts discussed the complexity introduced by polypharmacy and multiple morbidities and how the risk–benefit ratio of a medicine changes as an individual ages. [...] Read more.
A meeting organised by the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences focussed on the challenges of developing medicines for older adults. International experts discussed the complexity introduced by polypharmacy and multiple morbidities and how the risk–benefit ratio of a medicine changes as an individual ages. The way in which regulatory authorities are encouraging the development of age-appropriate medicines was highlighted. Examples were provided of the difficulties faced by the older population with some medicinal products and suggestions given as to how the pharmaceutical scientist can build the requirements of the older population into their development of new medicines, as well as improvements to existing ones. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Low-Molecular-Weight Polyethylenimine/pDNA-VEGF Polyplex System Constructed in a One-Pot Manner for Hindlimb Ischemia Therapy
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040171
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 8 April 2019
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Abstract
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is often characterized by continued reduction in blood flow supply to limbs. Advanced therapeutic strategies like gene therapy could potentially be applied to limb ischemia therapy. However, developing a gene delivery system with low toxicity and high efficiency remains [...] Read more.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is often characterized by continued reduction in blood flow supply to limbs. Advanced therapeutic strategies like gene therapy could potentially be applied to limb ischemia therapy. However, developing a gene delivery system with low toxicity and high efficiency remains a great challenge. In this study, a one-pot construction was used to integrate vector synthesis and polyplex fabrication simultaneously in a simple and robust manner. We fabricated an interpenetrating gene delivery network through the physical interaction between low-molecular-weight polyethylenimine (PEI 1.8 kDa) and plasmid DNA (pDNA) and the chemical bonding between PEI and glutaraldehyde (GA), which was named the glutaraldehydelinked-branched PEI (GPEI) polyplex. The final GPEI polyplex system was pH-responsive and biodegradable due to the imine linkage and it could successfully deliver desired vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pDNA. Compared with PEI (25 kDa)/pDNA polyplexes, GPEI polyplexes showed lower cytotoxicity and higher transfection efficiency both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, we demonstrated that GPEI polyplexes could efficiently promote the formation of new capillaries in vivo, which may provide a practicable strategy for clinical hindlimb ischemia therapy in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mechanistic Studies on the Absorption-Enhancing Effects of Gemini Surfactant on the Intestinal Absorption of Poorly Absorbed Hydrophilic Drugs in Rats
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040170
Received: 12 January 2019 / Revised: 28 March 2019 / Accepted: 28 March 2019 / Published: 7 April 2019
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Abstract
Generally, the use of absorption enhancers might be the most effective approaches to ameliorate the enteric absorption of poorly absorbed substances. Among numerous absorption enhancers, we already reported that a gemini surfactant, sodium dilauramidoglutamide lysine (SLG-30) with two hydrophobic and two hydrophilic moieties, [...] Read more.
Generally, the use of absorption enhancers might be the most effective approaches to ameliorate the enteric absorption of poorly absorbed substances. Among numerous absorption enhancers, we already reported that a gemini surfactant, sodium dilauramidoglutamide lysine (SLG-30) with two hydrophobic and two hydrophilic moieties, is a novel and promising adjuvant with a high potency in improving the absorption safely. Here, we examined and elucidated the absorption-improving mechanisms of SLG-30 in the enteric absorption of substances. SLG-30 increased the intestinal absorption of 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein (CF) to a greater level than the typical absorption enhancers, including sodium glycocholate and sodium laurate, as evaluated by an in situ closed-loop method. Furthermore, SLG-30 significantly lowered the fluorescence anisotropy of dansyl chloride (DNS-Cl), suggesting that it might increase the fluidity of protein sections in the intestinal cell membranes. Moreover, SLG-30 significantly lowered the transepithelial-electrical resistance (TEER) values of Caco-2 cells, suggesting that it might open the tight junctions (TJs) between the enteric epithelial cells. Additionally, the levels of claudin-1 and claudin-4 expression decreased in the presence of SLG-30. These outcomes propose that SLG-30 might improve the enteric transport of poorly absorbed substances through both transcellular and paracellular routes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transmucosal Absorption Enhancers in the Drug Delivery Field)
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Open AccessArticle
Cytotoxic Effect of Paclitaxel and Lapatinib Co-Delivered in Polylactide-co-Poly(ethylene glycol) Micelles on HER-2-Negative Breast Cancer Cells
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040169
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 6 April 2019
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Abstract
To find better strategies to enhance the cytotoxic effect of paclitaxel (PTX) and lapatinib (LAP) against breast cancer cells, we analyzed the efficacy of a novel delivery system containing polylactide-co-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLA-PEG) filomicelles of over 100 nm in length and spherical micelles of [...] Read more.
To find better strategies to enhance the cytotoxic effect of paclitaxel (PTX) and lapatinib (LAP) against breast cancer cells, we analyzed the efficacy of a novel delivery system containing polylactide-co-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLA-PEG) filomicelles of over 100 nm in length and spherical micelles of approximately 20 nm in diameter. The 1H NMR measurements confirmed the incorporation of PTX and LAP into micelles. Analysis of the drug release mechanism revealed the diffusion-controlled release of LAP and anomalous transport of PTX. Drug content analysis in lyophilized micelles and micellar solution showed their good storage stability for at least 6 weeks. Blank micelles, LAP-loaded micelles and free LAP did not affect MCF-7 breast cancer cell proliferation, suggesting that the cytotoxicity of PTX-, PTX/LAP-loaded micelles, and the binary mixture of free PTX and LAP was solely caused by PTX. PTX/LAP-loaded micelles showed greater toxicity compared to the binary mixture of PTX and LAP after 48 h and 72 h. Only free PTX alone induced P-gp activity. This study showed the feasibility of using a LAP and PTX combination to overcome MDR in MCF-7 cells, particularly when co-loaded into micelles. We suggest that PTX/LAP micelles can be applicable not only for the therapy of HER-2-positive, but also HER-2-negative breast cancers. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Interpretation of Non-Clinical Data for Prediction of Human Pharmacokinetic Parameters: In Vitro-In Vivo Extrapolation and Allometric Scaling
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040168
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 5 April 2019
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Abstract
Extrapolation of pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters from in vitro or in vivo animal to human is one of the main tasks in the drug development process. Translational approaches provide evidence for go or no-go decision-making during drug discovery and the development process, and the [...] Read more.
Extrapolation of pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters from in vitro or in vivo animal to human is one of the main tasks in the drug development process. Translational approaches provide evidence for go or no-go decision-making during drug discovery and the development process, and the prediction of human PKs prior to the first-in-human clinical trials. In vitro-in vivo extrapolation and allometric scaling are the choice of method for projection to human situations. Although these methods are useful tools for the estimation of PK parameters, it is a challenge to apply these methods since underlying biochemical, mathematical, physiological, and background knowledge of PKs are required. In addition, it is difficult to select an appropriate methodology depending on the data available. Therefore, this review covers the principles of PK parameters pertaining to the clearance, volume of distribution, elimination half-life, absorption rate constant, and prediction method from the original idea to recently developed models in order to introduce optimal models for the prediction of PK parameters. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tuning the Transdermal Delivery of Hydroquinone upon Formulation with Novel Permeation Enhancers
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040167
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 31 March 2019 / Published: 4 April 2019
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Abstract
Hydroquinone (HQ) is an anti-hyperpigmentation agent with poor physicochemical stability. HQ formulations are currently elaborated by compounding in local pharmacies. Variability in the characteristics of HQ topical formulations can lead to remarkable differences in terms of their stability, efficacy, and toxicity. Four different [...] Read more.
Hydroquinone (HQ) is an anti-hyperpigmentation agent with poor physicochemical stability. HQ formulations are currently elaborated by compounding in local pharmacies. Variability in the characteristics of HQ topical formulations can lead to remarkable differences in terms of their stability, efficacy, and toxicity. Four different semisolid O/W formulations with 5% HQ were prepared using: (i) Beeler´s base plus antioxidants (F1), (ii) Beeler´s base and dimethyl isosorbide (DMI) as solubiliser (F2), (iii) olive oil and DMI (F3), and (iv) Nourivan®, a skin-moisturising and antioxidant base, along with DMI (F4). Amongst the four formulations, F3 showed the greatest physicochemical stability with less tendency to coalescence but with marked chromatic aberrations. An inverse correlation was established by multivariate analysis between the mean droplet size in volume and the steady-state flux, which explains why F3, with the smallest droplet size and the most hydrophobic excipients, exhibited the highest permeation across both types of membranes with enhancement ratios of 2.26 and 5.67-fold across Strat-M® and mouse skin, respectively, compared to F1. It is crucial to understand how the HQ is formulated, bearing in mind that the use of different excipients can tune the transdermal delivery of HQ significantly. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A New Hope: Self-Assembling Peptides with Antimicrobial Activity
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(4), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11040166
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 4 April 2019
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Abstract
Peptide drugs hold great promise for the treatment of infectious diseases thanks to their novel mechanisms of action, low toxicity, high specificity, and ease of synthesis and modification. Naturally developing self-assembly in nature has inspired remarkable interest in self-assembly of peptides to functional [...] Read more.
Peptide drugs hold great promise for the treatment of infectious diseases thanks to their novel mechanisms of action, low toxicity, high specificity, and ease of synthesis and modification. Naturally developing self-assembly in nature has inspired remarkable interest in self-assembly of peptides to functional nanomaterials. As a matter of fact, their structural, mechanical, and functional advantages, plus their high bio-compatibility and bio-degradability make them excellent candidates for facilitating biomedical applications. This review focuses on the self-assembly of peptides for the fabrication of antibacterial nanomaterials holding great interest for substituting antibiotics, with emphasis on strategies to achieve nano-architectures of self-assembly. The antibacterial activities achieved by these nanomaterials are also described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breakthroughs in Antimicrobial Peptides)
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