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Pharmaceutics, Volume 12, Issue 5 (May 2020) – 90 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The development of next-generation nanomedicines is being greatly impacted by the broadening of the therapeutic possibilities of nanotechnology, allowing new therapeutic targets to be reached and the overall therapeutic profile to be improved. This review covers the new strategies and possibilities for delivery of therapeutic biomolecules: peptides, proteins, nucleic acids and glycans with mesoporous silica-based nanosystems. View this paper
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Article
Metallo-Liposomes of Ruthenium Used as Promising Vectors of Genetic Material
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050482 - 25 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1393
Abstract
Gene therapy is a therapeutic process consisting of the transport of genetic material into cells. The design and preparation of novel carriers to transport DNA is an important research line in the medical field. Hybrid compounds such as metallo-liposomes, containing a mixture of [...] Read more.
Gene therapy is a therapeutic process consisting of the transport of genetic material into cells. The design and preparation of novel carriers to transport DNA is an important research line in the medical field. Hybrid compounds such as metallo-liposomes, containing a mixture of lipids, were prepared and characterized. Cationic metal lipids derived from the [Ru(bpy)3]2+ complex, RuC11C11 or RuC19C19, both with different hydrophobic/lipophilic ratios, were mixed with the phospholipid DOPE. A relation between the size and the molar fraction α was found and a multidisciplinary study about the interaction between the metallo-liposomes and DNA was performed. The metallo-liposomes/DNA association was quantified and a relationship between Kapp and α was obtained. Techniques such as AFM, SEM, zeta potential, dynamic light scattering and agarose gel electrophoresis demonstrated the formation of lipoplexes and showed the structure of the liposomes. L/D values corresponding to the polynucleotide’s condensation were estimated. In vitro assays proved the low cell toxicity of the metallo-liposomes, lower for normal cells than for cancer cell lines, and a good internalization into cells. The latter as well as the transfection measurements carried out with plasmid DNA pEGFP-C1 have demonstrated a good availability of the Ru(II)-based liposomes for being used as non-toxic nanovectors in gene therapy. Full article
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Article
Cell Theranostics on Mesoporous Silicon Substrates
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050481 - 25 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1277
Abstract
The adhesion, proliferation, and migration of cells over nanomaterials is regulated by a cascade of biochemical signals that originate at the interface of a cell with a substrate and propagate through the cytoplasm to the nucleus. The topography of the substrate plays a [...] Read more.
The adhesion, proliferation, and migration of cells over nanomaterials is regulated by a cascade of biochemical signals that originate at the interface of a cell with a substrate and propagate through the cytoplasm to the nucleus. The topography of the substrate plays a major role in this process. Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) have a characteristic size of some nanometers and a range of action of some tens of nanometers. Controlling details of a surface at the nanoscale—the same dimensional over which CAMs operate—offers ways to govern the behavior of cells and create organoids or tissues with heretofore unattainable precision. Here, using electrochemical procedures, we generated mesoporous silicon surfaces with different values of pore size (PS ≈ 11 nm and PS ≈ 21 nm), roughness (Ra ≈ 7 nm and Ra ≈ 13 nm), and fractal dimension (Df ≈ 2.48 and Df ≈ 2.15). Using electroless deposition, we deposited over these substrates thin layers of gold nanoparticles. Resulting devices feature (i) nanoscale details for the stimulation and control of cell assembly, (ii) arrays of pores for drug loading/release, (iii) layers of nanostructured gold for the enhancement of the electromagnetic signal in Raman spectroscopy (SERS). We then used these devices as cell culturing substrates. Upon loading with the anti-tumor drug PtCl (O,O′-acac)(DMSO) we examined the rate of adhesion and growth of breast cancer MCF-7 cells under the coincidental effects of surface geometry and drug release. Using confocal imaging and SERS spectroscopy we determined the relative importance of nano-topography and delivery of therapeutics on cell growth—and how an unbalance between these competing agents can accelerate the development of tumor cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mesoporous Materials for Drug Delivery and Theranostics)
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Article
Photoactivatable Surface-Functionalized Diatom Microalgae for Colorectal Cancer Targeted Delivery and Enhanced Cytotoxicity of Anticancer Complexes
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050480 - 25 May 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1725
Abstract
Systemic toxicity and severe side effects are commonly associated with anticancer chemotherapies. New strategies based on enhanced drug selectivity and targeted delivery to cancer cells while leaving healthy tissue undamaged can reduce the global patient burden. Herein, we report the design, synthesis and [...] Read more.
Systemic toxicity and severe side effects are commonly associated with anticancer chemotherapies. New strategies based on enhanced drug selectivity and targeted delivery to cancer cells while leaving healthy tissue undamaged can reduce the global patient burden. Herein, we report the design, synthesis and characterization of a bio-inspired hybrid multifunctional drug delivery system based on diatom microalgae. The microalgae’s surface was chemically functionalized with hybrid vitamin B12-photoactivatable molecules and the materials further loaded with highly active rhenium(I) tricarbonyl anticancer complexes. The constructs showed enhanced adherence to colorectal cancer (CRC) cells and slow release of the chemotherapeutic drugs. The overall toxicity of the hybrid multifunctional drug delivery system was further enhanced by photoactivation of the microalgae surface. Depending on the construct and anticancer drug, a 2-fold increase in the cytotoxic efficacy of the drug was observed upon light irradiation. The use of this targeted drug delivery strategy, together with selective spatial–temporal light activation, may lead to lower effective concentration of anticancer drugs, thereby reducing medication doses, possible side effects and overall burden for the patient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hybrid Multifunctional Drug Delivery Systems)
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Article
Injectable SN-38-embedded Polymeric Microparticles Promote Antitumor Efficacy against Malignant Glioma in an Animal Model
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050479 - 24 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1024
Abstract
Malignant glioma (MG) is extremely aggressive and highly resistant to chemotherapeutic agents. Using electrospraying, the potent chemotherapeutic agent 7-ethyl-10-hydroxycamptothecia (SN-38) was embedded into 50:50 biodegradable poly[(d,l)-lactide-co-glycolide] (PLGA) microparticles (SMPs). The SMPs were stereotactically injected into the brain parenchyma of [...] Read more.
Malignant glioma (MG) is extremely aggressive and highly resistant to chemotherapeutic agents. Using electrospraying, the potent chemotherapeutic agent 7-ethyl-10-hydroxycamptothecia (SN-38) was embedded into 50:50 biodegradable poly[(d,l)-lactide-co-glycolide] (PLGA) microparticles (SMPs). The SMPs were stereotactically injected into the brain parenchyma of healthy rats and intratumorally injected into F98 glioma-bearing rats for estimating the pharmacodynamics and therapeutic efficacy. SN-38 was rapidly released after injection and its local (brain tissue) concentration remained much higher than that in the blood for more than 8 weeks. Glioma-bearing rats were divided into three groups—group A (n = 13; stereotactically injected pure PLGA microparticles), group B (n = 12; stereotactically injected Gliadel wafer and oral temozolomide), and group C (n = 13; stereotactic and intratumoral introduction of SMPs). The SMPs exhibited significant therapeutic efficacy, with prolonged survival, retarded tumor growth, and attenuated malignancy. The experimental results demonstrated that SMPs provide an effective and potential strategy for the treatment of MG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible Materials in Drug Delivery System in Oncology)
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Communication
Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Assisted by Reversible Electroporation—In Vitro Study on Human Melanoma Cells
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050478 - 24 May 2020
Viewed by 980
Abstract
Melanoma is one of the most serious skin cancers. The incidence of this malignant skin lesion is continuing to increase worldwide. Melanoma is resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs and highly metastatic. Surgical resection can only be used to treat melanoma in the early stages, [...] Read more.
Melanoma is one of the most serious skin cancers. The incidence of this malignant skin lesion is continuing to increase worldwide. Melanoma is resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs and highly metastatic. Surgical resection can only be used to treat melanoma in the early stages, while chemotherapy is limited due to melanoma multi-drug resistance. The overexpression of glutathione S-transferase (GST) may have a critical role in this resistance. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a natural phenolic compound, which occurs in many plants. Previous studies demonstrated that CAPE suppresses the growth of melanoma cells and induces reactive oxygen species generation. It is also known that bioactivation of CAPE to its corresponding quinone metabolite by tyrosinase would lead to GST inhibition and selective melanoma cell death. We investigated the biochemical toxicity of CAPE in combination with microsecond electropermeabilization in two human melanoma cell lines. Our results indicate that electroporation of melanoma cells in the presence of CAPE induced high oxidative stress, which correlates with high cytotoxicity. Moreover, it can disrupt the metabolism of cancer cells by inducing apoptotic cell death. Electroporation of melanoma cells may be an efficient CAPE delivery system, enabling the application of this compound, while reducing its dose and exposure time. Full article
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Article
In Vitro Antigenotoxic, Antihelminthic and Antioxidant Potentials Based on the Extracted Metabolites from Lichen, Candelariella vitellina
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050477 - 24 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1407
Abstract
Lichens have recently received great attention due to their pharmacological potentials. The antigenotoxic potential of C. vitellina extract (25 and 50 µg/mL) was assessed in normal human peripheral blood lymphocytes (HPBL) against Mitomycin C (MMC) co-treatments. Flow cytometric analyses of cell cycle distribution, [...] Read more.
Lichens have recently received great attention due to their pharmacological potentials. The antigenotoxic potential of C. vitellina extract (25 and 50 µg/mL) was assessed in normal human peripheral blood lymphocytes (HPBL) against Mitomycin C (MMC) co-treatments. Flow cytometric analyses of cell cycle distribution, as well as apoptosis (Annexin V/PI), revealed that the extract had significantly (p ≤ 0.05) ameliorated the MMC toxicity by reducing the apoptotic cells and normalized the cell cycle phases. C. vitellina exhibited antigenotoxicity by ameliorating the diminished mitotic index and DNA single-strand breaks caused by MMC. Herein, the hydromethanolic extract (80%) of Candelariella vitellina (Japan) lichen, exhibited very low cytotoxicity towards normal human peripheral lymphocytes (HPBL) with IC50 >1000 µg/mL. In order to explore the antihelminthic effect, Echinococcus granulosus protoscoleces were used in vitro. Eosin staining revealed significant (p ≤ 0.05) dose and time-dependent scolicidal effects of the extract confirmed by degenerative alterations as observed by electron scan microscopy. Furthermore, primary and secondary metabolites were investigated using GC-MS and qualitative HPLC, revealing the presence of sugars, alcohols, different phenolic acids and light flavonoids. Significant antioxidant capacities were also demonstrated by DPPH radical-scavenging assay. In conclusion, the promising antigenotoxic, antihelminthic and antioxidant potentials of C. vitellina extract encourage further studies to evaluate its possible therapeutic potency. Full article
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Article
Optimization of Curcumin Nanocrystals as Promising Strategy for Nose-to-Brain Delivery Application
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050476 - 23 May 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1411
Abstract
Intranasal (IN) drug delivery is recognized to be an innovative strategy to deliver drugs to the Central Nervous System. One of the main limitations of IN dosing is the low volume of drug that can be administered. Accordingly, two requirements are necessary: the [...] Read more.
Intranasal (IN) drug delivery is recognized to be an innovative strategy to deliver drugs to the Central Nervous System. One of the main limitations of IN dosing is the low volume of drug that can be administered. Accordingly, two requirements are necessary: the drug should be active at a low dosage, and the drug solubility in water must be high enough to accommodate the required dose. Drug nanocrystals may overcome these limitations; thus, curcumin was selected as a model drug to prepare nanocrystals for potential IN administration. With this aim, we designed curcumin nanocrystals (NCs) by using Box Behnken design. A total of 51 formulations were prepared by the sonoprecipitation method. Once we assessed the influence of the independent variables on nanocrystals’ mean diameter, the formulation was optimized based on the desirability function. The optimized formulation was characterized from a physico-chemical point of view to evaluate the mean size, zeta potential, polidispersity index, pH, osmolarity, morphology, thermotropic behavior and the degree of crystallinity. Finally, the cellular uptake of curcumin and curcumin NCs was evaluated on Olfactory Ensheathing Cells (OECs). Our results showed that the OECs efficiently took up the NCs compared to the free curcumin, showing that NCs can ameliorate drug permeability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nose to Brain Delivery (Volume II))
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Article
Amelioration of BPSD-Like Phenotype and Cognitive Decline in SAMP8 Mice Model Accompanied by Molecular Changes after Treatment with I2-Imidazoline Receptor Ligand MCR5
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050475 - 23 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1384
Abstract
Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), including fear-anxiety- and depressive-like behaviour, are present in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), together with memory decline. I2-imidazoline receptors (I2-IRs) have been associated with neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders, further, I2-IR ligands have [...] Read more.
Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), including fear-anxiety- and depressive-like behaviour, are present in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), together with memory decline. I2-imidazoline receptors (I2-IRs) have been associated with neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders, further, I2-IR ligands have demonstrated a neuroprotective role in the central nervous system (CNS). In this study, we assessed the effect of the I2-IR ligand MCR5 on both cognitive and non-cognitive symptoms in the Senescence accelerated mice prone 8 (SAMP8) mouse model. Oral administration of I2-IR ligand MCR5 (5 mg/kg/day for four weeks) in 10-month SAMP8 mice ameliorated both BPSD-like phenotype and cognitive decline by attenuating depressive-like behaviour, reducing fear-anxiety-like behaviour and improving cognitive performance using different tasks. Interaction of I2-IR ligand MCR5 with serotoninergic system did not account for behavioural or cognitive improvement, although changes in molecular pathways underlying depression and anxiety phenotype were observed. MCR5 increased levels of p-AKT, phosphorylated glycogen synthase kinase 3 β (GSK3β) at Ser9 and phosphorylated mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) levels in SAMP8 treated mice compared to SAMP8 control. Moreover, MCR5 treatment altered N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDA) 2B phosphorylation, and decreased the protein levels of phosphorylated cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (p-CDK5) and dopamine- and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-regulated phosphoprotein of Mr 32 kDa phosphorylated at Thr75 (p-DARPP32), with a parallel increase in protein kinase A (PKA) and p-cAMP response element-binding (pCREB) levels. Consistent with these changes MCR5 attenuated neuroinflammation by decreasing expression of pro-inflammatory markers such as Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (Tnf-α), Interleukin 1β (Il-1β), Interleukin 6 (Il-6), and promoted synaptic plasticity by increasing levels of postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD95) as well as ameliorating tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) and nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR) signalling. Collectively, these results increase the potential of highly selective I2-IR ligands as therapeutic agents in age-related BPSD and cognitive alterations. Full article
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Review
Therapeutic Use of Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes: From Basic Science to Clinics
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050474 - 22 May 2020
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 1948
Abstract
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are, due to their immunosuppressive and regenerative properties, used as new therapeutic agents in cell-based therapy of inflammatory and degenerative diseases. A large number of experimental and clinical studies revealed that most of MSC-mediated beneficial effects were attributed to [...] Read more.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are, due to their immunosuppressive and regenerative properties, used as new therapeutic agents in cell-based therapy of inflammatory and degenerative diseases. A large number of experimental and clinical studies revealed that most of MSC-mediated beneficial effects were attributed to the effects of MSC-sourced exosomes (MSC-Exos). MSC-Exos are nano-sized extracellular vesicles that contain MSC-derived bioactive molecules (messenger RNA (mRNA), microRNAs (miRNAs)), enzymes, cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors) that modulate phenotype, function and homing of immune cells, and regulate survival and proliferation of parenchymal cells. In this review article, we emphasized current knowledge about molecular and cellular mechanisms that were responsible for MSC-Exos-based beneficial effects in experimental models and clinical trials. Additionally, we elaborated on the challenges of conventional MSC-Exos administration and proposed the use of new bioengineering and cellular modification techniques which could enhance therapeutic effects of MSC-Exos in alleviation of inflammatory and degenerative diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell-Based Drug-Delivery Platforms)
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Article
Stepwise Glucoheptoamidation of Poly(Amidoamine) Dendrimer G3 to Tune Physicochemical Properties of the Potential Drug Carrier: In Vitro Tests for Cytisine Conjugates
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050473 - 22 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1122
Abstract
Third-generation poly(amidoamine) dendrimer (PAMAM) was modified by stepwise primary amine group amidation with d-glucoheptono-1,4-lactone. The physicochemical properties of the conjugates—size, ζ potential in lysosomal pH 5 and in neutral aqueous solutions, as well as intramolecular dynamics by differential scanning calorimetry—were determined. Internalization [...] Read more.
Third-generation poly(amidoamine) dendrimer (PAMAM) was modified by stepwise primary amine group amidation with d-glucoheptono-1,4-lactone. The physicochemical properties of the conjugates—size, ζ potential in lysosomal pH 5 and in neutral aqueous solutions, as well as intramolecular dynamics by differential scanning calorimetry—were determined. Internalization and toxicity of the conjugates against normal human fibroblasts BJ were monitored in vitro in order to select an appropriate carrier for a drug delivery system. It was found that initial glucoheptoamidation (up to 1/3 of amine groups of neat dendrimers available) resulted in increase of conjugate size and ζ potential. Native or low substituted dendrimer conjugates accumulated efficiently in fibroblast cells at nontoxic 1 µM concentration. Further substitution of dendrimer caused consistent decrease of size and ζ potential, cell accumulation, and toxicity. All dendrimers are amorphous at 36.6 °C as determined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The optimized dendrimer, half-filled with glucoheptoamide substituents, was applied as carrier bearing two covalently attached cytisine molecules: a rigid and hydrophobic alkaloid. The conjugate with 2 cytisine and 16 glucoheptoamide substituents showed fast accumulation and no toxicity up to 200 µM concentration. The half-glucoheptoamidated PAMAM dendrimer was selected as a promising anticancer drug carrier for further applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dendrimer-Based Nanomedicine)
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Article
In Situ Gel Formation in Microporated Skin for Enhanced Topical Delivery of Niacinamide
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050472 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2008
Abstract
Although used widely in cosmetic formulations, topical delivery of niacinamide (LogP = −0.35) is unfavorable by conventional means. Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) formulations, can undergo a sol-gel transition triggered by solvent exchange, entrapping molecules and sustaining their release. The current study aims to [...] Read more.
Although used widely in cosmetic formulations, topical delivery of niacinamide (LogP = −0.35) is unfavorable by conventional means. Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) formulations, can undergo a sol-gel transition triggered by solvent exchange, entrapping molecules and sustaining their release. The current study aims to exploit the ability of PLGA to gel in situ and enhance the topical delivery of niacinamide in microporated skin. In vitro drug permeation studies were performed using vertical Franz diffusion cells. Microporation was performed using Dr. PenTM Ultima A6, where pre-treatment with a 1 mm needle-length for 10 s and a 0.5 mm needle-length for 5 s, both at 13,000 insertions/min were compared. The effect of different grades of PLGA, EXPANSORB® DLG 50-2A (“low” molecular weight), and EXPANSORB® DLG 50-8A (“high” molecular weight) on topical delivery was also determined. Formulations containing PLGA resulted in successful gelation in situ on application over microporated skin. A significantly higher amount of drug was found in the skin with the 0.5 mm treatment for 5 s (892 ± 36 µg/cm2) than with 1 mm for 10 s (167 ± 16 µg/cm2). Hence, the different grades of PLGA were evaluated with 0.5 mm, 5 s treatment, and a significantly larger amount was seen in skin with the higher rather than the lower molecular weight polymer (172 ± 53 µg/cm2). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Microneedle-Based Drug Delivery Systems)
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Article
Osteoprotegerin Is more than a Possible Serum Marker in Liver Fibrosis: A Study into Its Function in Human and Murine Liver
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 471; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050471 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1441
Abstract
Osteoprotegerin (OPG) serum levels are associated with liver fibrogenesis and have been proposed as a biomarker for diagnosis. However, the source and role of OPG in liver fibrosis are unknown, as is the question of whether OPG expression responds to treatment. Therefore, we [...] Read more.
Osteoprotegerin (OPG) serum levels are associated with liver fibrogenesis and have been proposed as a biomarker for diagnosis. However, the source and role of OPG in liver fibrosis are unknown, as is the question of whether OPG expression responds to treatment. Therefore, we aimed to elucidate the fibrotic regulation of OPG production and its possible function in human and mouse livers. OPG levels were significantly higher in lysates of human and mouse fibrotic livers compared to healthy livers. Hepatic OPG expression localized in cirrhotic collagenous bands in and around myofibroblasts. Single cell sequencing of murine liver cells showed hepatic stellate cells (HSC) to be the main producers of OPG in healthy livers. Using mouse precision-cut liver slices, we found OPG production induced by transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) stimulation. Moreover, OPG itself stimulated expression of genes associated with fibrogenesis in liver slices through TGFβ1, suggesting profibrotic activity of OPG. Resolution of fibrosis in mice was associated with decreased production of OPG compared to ongoing fibrosis. OPG may stimulate fibrogenesis through TGFβ1 and is associated with the degree of fibrogenesis. It should therefore be investigated further as a possible drug target for liver fibrosis or biomarker for treatment success of novel antifibrotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antifibrotic Drugs)
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Article
Electrospun Orodispersible Films of Isoniazid for Pediatric Tuberculosis Treatment
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050470 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1540
Abstract
Child-appropriate dosage forms are critical in promoting adherence and effective pharmacotherapy in pediatric patients, especially those undergoing long-term treatment in low-resource settings. The present study aimed to develop orodispersible films (ODFs) for isoniazid administration to children exposed to tuberculosis. The ODFs were produced [...] Read more.
Child-appropriate dosage forms are critical in promoting adherence and effective pharmacotherapy in pediatric patients, especially those undergoing long-term treatment in low-resource settings. The present study aimed to develop orodispersible films (ODFs) for isoniazid administration to children exposed to tuberculosis. The ODFs were produced from the aqueous solutions of natural and semi-synthetic polymer blends using electrospinning. The spinning solutions and the resulting fibers were physicochemically characterized, and the disintegration time and isoniazid release from the ODFs were assessed in simulated salivary fluid. The ODFs comprised of nanofibers with adequate thermal stability and possible drug amorphization. Film disintegration occurred instantly upon contact with simulated salivary fluid within less than 15 s, and isoniazid release from the ODFs in the same medium followed after the disintegration profiles, achieving rapid and total drug release within less than 60 s. The ease of administration and favorable drug loading and release properties of the ODFs may provide a dosage form able to facilitate proper adherence to treatment within the pediatric patient population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Technologies for Paediatric Drug Delivery)
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Article
High Efficiency Vibrational Technology (HEVT) for Cell Encapsulation in Polymeric Microcapsules
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050469 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1002
Abstract
Poly(methyl-methacrylate) (PMMA) is a biocompatible and non-biodegradable polymer widely used as biomedical material. PMMA microcapsules with suitable dimension and porosity range are proposed to encapsulate live cells useful for tissue regeneration purposes. The aim of this work was to evaluate the feasibility of [...] Read more.
Poly(methyl-methacrylate) (PMMA) is a biocompatible and non-biodegradable polymer widely used as biomedical material. PMMA microcapsules with suitable dimension and porosity range are proposed to encapsulate live cells useful for tissue regeneration purposes. The aim of this work was to evaluate the feasibility of producing cell-loaded PMMA microcapsules through “high efficiency vibrational technology” (HEVT). Preliminary studies were conducted to set up the process parameters for PMMA microcapsules production and human dermal fibroblast, used as cell model, were encapsulated in shell/core microcapsules. Microcapsules morphometric analysis through optical microscope and scanning electron microscopy highlighted that uniform microcapsules of 1.2 mm with circular surface pores were obtained by HEVT. Best process conditions used were as follows: frequency of 200 Hz, voltage of 750 V, flow rate of core solution of 10 mL/min, and flow rate of shell solution of 0.5 bar. Microcapsule membrane allowed permeation of molecules with low and medium molecular weight up to 5900 Da and prevented diffusion of high molecular weight molecules (11,000 Da). The yield of the process was about 50% and cell encapsulation efficiency was 27% on total amount. The cell survived and growth up to 72 h incubation in simulated physiologic medium was observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Encapsulation Techniques Applied to Pharmaceutics)
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Article
Pharmacokinetic Interaction between Metformin and Verapamil in Rats: Inhibition of the OCT2-Mediated Renal Excretion of Metformin by Verapamil
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050468 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1221
Abstract
The incidence of hypertension in diabetic patients has been increasing and contributing to the high mortality of diabetic patients. Recently, verapamil use was found to lower fasting blood glucose levels in diabetic patients, which led to a new indication of verapamil as combination [...] Read more.
The incidence of hypertension in diabetic patients has been increasing and contributing to the high mortality of diabetic patients. Recently, verapamil use was found to lower fasting blood glucose levels in diabetic patients, which led to a new indication of verapamil as combination treatment with anti-diabetic agents such as metformin. As pharmacokinetic (PK) interaction can affect drug efficacy and safety in drug combination, their PK-based interaction is recommended to be evaluated in preclinical levels as well as clinical levels. In case of metformin and verapamil, organic cation transporter (OCT) 1 and 2 primarily mediate metformin distribution to the liver and its elimination into urine, whereas cytochrome P450 is responsible for the hepatic metabolism of verapamil. Verapamil is also known as a potential OCT2 inhibitor. Thus, PK interaction between metformin (30 mg/kg) and verapamil (20 mg/kg) were investigated after their simultaneous administration to rats. In our results, verapamil inhibited the OCT2-mediated renal excretion of metformin, subsequently leading to increase of the systemic exposure of metformin. In contrast, metformin did not influence the pharmacokinetic pattern of verapamil. Although the further clinical investigation is required, our finding suggests a possibility of OCT2-mediated interaction of metformin and verapamil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Metabolism/Transport and Pharmacokinetics)
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Article
Wound Healing Activity of Nanoclay/Spring Water Hydrogels
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050467 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1573
Abstract
Background: hydrogels prepared with natural inorganic excipients and spring waters are commonly used in medical hydrology. Design of these clay-based formulations continues to be a field scarcely addressed. Safety and wound healing properties of different fibrous nanoclay/spring water hydrogels were addressed. Methods: in [...] Read more.
Background: hydrogels prepared with natural inorganic excipients and spring waters are commonly used in medical hydrology. Design of these clay-based formulations continues to be a field scarcely addressed. Safety and wound healing properties of different fibrous nanoclay/spring water hydrogels were addressed. Methods: in vitro biocompatibility, by means of MTT assay, and wound healing properties were studied. Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy was used to study the morphology of fibroblasts during the wound healing process. Results: all the ingredients demonstrated to be biocompatible towards fibroblasts. Particularly, the formulation of nanoclays as hydrogels improved biocompatibility with respect to powder samples at the same concentration. Spring waters and hydrogels were even able to promote in vitro fibroblasts motility and, therefore, accelerate wound healing with respect to the control. Conclusion: fibrous nanoclay/spring water hydrogels proved to be skin-biocompatible and to possess a high potential as wound healing formulations. Moreover, these results open new prospects for these ingredients to be used in new therapeutic or cosmetic formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clay-Based Pharmaceutical Formulations and Drug Delivery Systems)
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Article
Development and In Vivo Application of a Water-Soluble Anticancer Copper Ionophore System Using a Temperature-Sensitive Liposome Formulation
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050466 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1305
Abstract
Liposomes containing copper and the copper ionophore neocuproine were prepared and characterized for in vitro and in vivo anticancer activity. Thermosensitive PEGylated liposomes were prepared with different molar ratios of 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) and hydrogenated soybean phosphatidylcholine (HSPC) in the presence of copper(II) ions. [...] Read more.
Liposomes containing copper and the copper ionophore neocuproine were prepared and characterized for in vitro and in vivo anticancer activity. Thermosensitive PEGylated liposomes were prepared with different molar ratios of 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) and hydrogenated soybean phosphatidylcholine (HSPC) in the presence of copper(II) ions. Optimal, temperature dependent drug release was obtained at 70:30 DPPC to HSPC weight ratio. Neocuproine (applied at 0.2 mol to 1 mol phospholipid) was encapsulated through a pH gradient while using unbuffered solution at pH 4.5 inside the liposomes, and 100 mM HEPES buffer pH 7.8 outside the liposomes. Copper ions were present in excess, yielding 0.5 mM copper-(neocuproine)2 complex and 0.5 mM free copper. Pre-heating to 45 °C increased the toxicity of the heat-sensitive liposomes in short-term in vitro experiments, whereas at 72 h all investigated liposomes exhibited similar in vitro toxicity to the copper(II)-neocuproine complex (1:1 ratio). Thermosensitive liposomes were found to be more effective in reducing tumor growth in BALB/c mice engrafted with C26 cancer cells, regardless of the mild hyperthermic treatment. Copper uptake of the tumor was verified by PET/CT imaging following treatment with [64Cu]Cu-neocuproine liposomes. Taken together, our results demonstrate the feasibility of targeting a copper nanotoxin that was encapsulated in thermosensitive liposomes containing an excess of copper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Drug Delivery and Controlled Release)
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Article
Fabrication of Transgelosomes for Enhancing the Ocular Delivery of Acetazolamide: Statistical Optimization, In Vitro Characterization, and In Vivo Study
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050465 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1180
Abstract
Acetazolamide (ACZ) is a potent carbonic anhydrase inhibitor that is used for the treatment of glaucoma. Its oral administration causes various undesirable side effects. This study aimed to formulate transgelosomes (TGS) for enhancing the ocular delivery of ACZ. ACZ-loaded transfersomes were formulated by [...] Read more.
Acetazolamide (ACZ) is a potent carbonic anhydrase inhibitor that is used for the treatment of glaucoma. Its oral administration causes various undesirable side effects. This study aimed to formulate transgelosomes (TGS) for enhancing the ocular delivery of ACZ. ACZ-loaded transfersomes were formulated by the ethanol injection method, using phosphatidylcholine (PC) and different edge activators, including Tween 80, Span 60, and Cremophor RH 40. The effects of the ratio of lipid to surfactant and type of surfactant on % drug released after 8 h (Q8h) and entrapment efficiency (EE%) were investigated by using Design-Expert software. The optimized formula was formulated as TGS, using poloxamers as gelling agents. In vitro and in vivo characterization of ACZ-loaded TGS was performed. According to optimization study, F8 had the highest desirability value and was chosen as the optimized formula for preparing TGS. F8 appeared as spherical elastic nanovesicles with Q8h of 93.01 ± 3.76% and EE% of 84.44 ± 2.82. Compared to a free drug, TGS exhibited more prolonged drug release of 71.28 ± 0.46% after 8 h, higher ex vivo permeation of 66.82 ± 1.11% after 8 h and a significant lowering of intraocular pressure (IOP) for 24 h. Therefore, TGS provided a promising technique for improving the corneal delivery of ACZ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gels and in Situ Gelling Formulations for Drug Delivery)
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Article
Multi-Compartment 3D-Cultured Organ-on-a-Chip: Towards a Biomimetic Lymph Node for Drug Development
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050464 - 19 May 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3428
Abstract
The interaction of immune cells with drugs and/or with other cell types should be mechanistically investigated in order to reduce attrition of new drug development. However, they are currently only limited technologies that address this need. In our work, we developed initial but [...] Read more.
The interaction of immune cells with drugs and/or with other cell types should be mechanistically investigated in order to reduce attrition of new drug development. However, they are currently only limited technologies that address this need. In our work, we developed initial but significant building blocks that enable such immune-drug studies. We developed a novel microfluidic platform replicating the Lymph Node (LN) microenvironment called LN-on-a-chip, starting from design all the way to microfabrication, characterization and validation in terms of architectural features, fluidics, cytocompatibility, and usability. To prove the biomimetics of this microenvironment, we inserted different immune cell types in a microfluidic device, which showed an in-vivo-like spatial distribution. We demonstrated that the developed LN-on-a-chip incorporates key features of the native human LN, namely, (i) similarity in extracellular matrix composition, morphology, porosity, stiffness, and permeability, (ii) compartmentalization of immune cells within distinct structural domains, (iii) replication of the lymphatic fluid flow pattern, (iv) viability of encapsulated cells in collagen over the typical timeframe of immunotoxicity experiments, and (v) interaction among different cell types across chamber boundaries. Further studies with this platform may assess the immune cell function as a step forward to disclose the effects of pharmaceutics to downstream immunology in more physiologically relevant microenvironments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics as a Tool for Drug Delivery)
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Article
Enhanced Transdermal Delivery of Concentrated Capsaicin from Chili Extract-Loaded Lipid Nanoparticles with Reduced Skin Irritation
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050463 - 19 May 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1609
Abstract
The aim of this study was to develop lipid-based nanoparticles that entrapped a high concentration of capsaicin (0.25%) from a capsicum oleoresin extract. The solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) and nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) were strategically fabricated to entrap capsaicin without a hazardous solvent. [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to develop lipid-based nanoparticles that entrapped a high concentration of capsaicin (0.25%) from a capsicum oleoresin extract. The solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) and nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) were strategically fabricated to entrap capsaicin without a hazardous solvent. Optimized nanosize lipid particles with high capsaicin entrapment and loading capacity were achieved from pair-wise comparison of the solid lipid mixtures consisting of fatty esters and fatty alcohols, representing small and large crystal-structure molecules combined with a compatible liquid lipid and surfactants (crystallinity index = 3%). This report was focused on selectively captured capsaicin from oleoresin in amorphous chili extract-loaded NLCs with 85.27% ± 0.12% entrapment efficiency (EE) and 8.53% ± 0.01% loading capacity (LC). The particle size, polydispersity index, and zeta potential of chili extract-loaded NLCs were 148.50 ± 2.94 nm, 0.12 ± 0.03, and −29.58 ± 1.37 mV, respectively. The favorable zero-order kinetics that prolonged capsaicin release and the significantly faster transdermal penetration of the NLC attributed to the reduction in skin irritation of the concentrated capsaicin NLCs, as illustrated by the in vitro EpiDermTM three-dimensional human skin irritation test and hen’s egg test chorioallantoic membrane assay (HET-CAM). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology)
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Article
Enhanced Intestinal Absorption of Insulin by Capryol 90, a Novel Absorption Enhancer in Rats: Implications in Oral Insulin Delivery
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050462 - 18 May 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1890
Abstract
Labrasol® is a self-emulsifying excipient that contains saturated polyglycolysed C6–C14 glycerides and this additive is known to improve the intestinal absorption of poorly absorbed drugs after oral administration. However, the effects of formulations similar to Labrasol® on the [...] Read more.
Labrasol® is a self-emulsifying excipient that contains saturated polyglycolysed C6–C14 glycerides and this additive is known to improve the intestinal absorption of poorly absorbed drugs after oral administration. However, the effects of formulations similar to Labrasol® on the intestinal absorption of poorly absorbed drugs have not been characterized. In this study, we used insulin as a model peptide drug and examined the absorption-enhancing effects of Labrasol® and its related formulations for insulin absorption in rats. The co-administration of Labrasol-related formulations with insulin reduced the blood glucose levels. Among these formulations, Capryol 90 was the most effective additive. Notably, the effect of Capryol 90 was greater at pH 3.0 than at pH 7.0. Additionally, almost no mucosal damage was observed in the presence of these formulations, as these formulations did not affect the activity of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and the amount of protein released from the small intestine. In mechanistic studies, Capryol 90 improved the stability of insulin and suppressed the association with insulin under acidic conditions. The loosening of the tight junctions (TJs) could be the underlying mechanism by which Capryol 90 improved intestinal insulin absorption via a paracellular route. These findings suggest that Capryol 90 is an effective absorption enhancer for improving the intestinal absorption of insulin, without inducing serious damage to the intestinal epithelium. Full article
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Article
Redox-Sensitive Linear and Cross-Linked Cystamine-Based Polymers for Colon-Targeted Drug Delivery: Design, Synthesis, and Characterisation
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050461 - 18 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1264
Abstract
Cystamine-based polymers may help to achieve controlled and targeted drug delivery to the colon due to their susceptibility to breakage of the disulfide linkage in the low redox potential environment of the colon. In this study, two linear cystamine-based polymers with similar repeating [...] Read more.
Cystamine-based polymers may help to achieve controlled and targeted drug delivery to the colon due to their susceptibility to breakage of the disulfide linkage in the low redox potential environment of the colon. In this study, two linear cystamine-based polymers with similar repeating units (LP1 and LP2) and a cross-linked cystamine-based polymer (BP) were synthesised and their kinetics and the various physical conditions underlying cystamine-based polymerisation were evaluated. In brief, N1,N6-bis(2-(tritylthio)ethyl)adipamide (2) was synthesised from the reaction of triphenylmethanol and cysteamine. Next, the trityl group of 2 was removed with trifluoroacetic acid and triethylsilane before proceeding to oxidative polymerisation of the end product, N1,N6-bis(2-mercaptoethyl)adipamide (3) to LP1. The Schotten-Bauman reaction was applied to synthesise LP2 and BP from the reaction of cystamine with adipoyl chloride or trimesoyl chloride. Scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and mapping showed that oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and carbon were homogenously distributed in the polymers, with LP2 and BP having less porous morphologies compared to LP1. Results of zinc-acetic acid reduction showed that all polymers began to reduce after 15 min. Moreover, all synthesised polymers resisted stomach and small intestine conditions and only degraded in the presence of bacteria in the colon environment. Thus, these polymers have great potential for drug delivery applications. LP2 and BP, which were synthesised using the Schotten-Bauman reaction, were more promising than LP1 for colon-targeted drug delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Drug Delivery and Controlled Release)
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Article
Enhancement of the Physical Stability of Amorphous Sildenafil in a Binary Mixture, with either a Plasticizing or Antiplasticizing Compound
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050460 - 18 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1285
Abstract
The main purpose of this paper was to evaluate the impact of both high- and low-Tg polymer additives on the physical stability of an amorphous drug, sildenafil (SIL). The molecular mobility of neat amorphous SIL was strongly affected by the polymeric excipients [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this paper was to evaluate the impact of both high- and low-Tg polymer additives on the physical stability of an amorphous drug, sildenafil (SIL). The molecular mobility of neat amorphous SIL was strongly affected by the polymeric excipients used (Kollidon VA64 (KVA) and poly(vinylacetate) (PVAc)). The addition of KVA slowed down the molecular dynamics of amorphous SIL (antiplasticizing effect), however, the addition of PVAc accelerated the molecular motions of the neat drug (plasticizing effect). Therefore, in order to properly assess the effect of the polymer on the physical stability of SIL, the amorphous samples at both: isothermal (at constant temperature—353 K) and isochronal (at constant relaxation time—τα = 1.5 ms) conditions were compared. Our studies showed that KVA suppressed the recrystallization of amorphous SIL more efficiently than PVAc. KVA improved the physical stability of the amorphous drug, regardless of the chosen concentration. On the other hand, in the case of PVAc, a low polymer content (i.e., 25 wt.%) destabilized amorphous SIL, when stored at 353 K. Nevertheless, at high concentrations of this excipient (i.e., 75 wt.%), its effect on the amorphous pharmaceutical seemed to be the opposite. Therefore, above a certain concentration, the PVAc presence no longer accelerates the SIL recrystallization process, but inhibits it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Solid Dispersion Technology 2.0)
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Article
Predictive Value of Precision-Cut Kidney Slices as an Ex Vivo Screening Platform for Therapeutics in Human Renal Fibrosis
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050459 - 18 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1271
Abstract
Animal models are a valuable tool in preclinical research. However, limited predictivity of human biological responses in the conventional models has stimulated the search for reliable preclinical tools that show translational robustness. Here, we used precision-cut kidney slices (PCKS) as a model of [...] Read more.
Animal models are a valuable tool in preclinical research. However, limited predictivity of human biological responses in the conventional models has stimulated the search for reliable preclinical tools that show translational robustness. Here, we used precision-cut kidney slices (PCKS) as a model of renal fibrosis and investigated its predictive capacity for screening the effects of anti-fibrotics. Murine and human PCKS were exposed to TGFβ or PDGF pathway inhibitors with established anti-fibrotic efficacy. For each treatment modality, we evaluated whether it affected: (1) culture-induced collagen type I gene expression and interstitial accumulation; (2) expression of markers of TGFβ and PDGF signaling; and (3) expression of inflammatory markers. We summarized the outcomes of published in vivo animal and human studies testing the three inhibitors in renal fibrosis, and drew a parallel to the PCKS data. We showed that the responses of murine PCKS to anti-fibrotics highly corresponded with the known in vivo responses observed in various animal models of renal fibrosis. Moreover, our results suggested that human PCKS can be used to predict drug efficacy in clinical trials. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that the PCKS model is a powerful predictive tool for ex vivo screening of putative drugs for renal fibrosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antifibrotic Drugs)
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Article
Highly Elastic and Water Stable Zein Microfibers as a Potential Drug Delivery System for Wound Healing
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050458 - 18 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1475
Abstract
The development of biomaterials for wound healing applications requires providing a number of properties, such as antimicrobial action, facilitation of cell proliferation, biocompatibility and biodegradability. The aim of the present study was to investigate morphological and mechanical properties of zein-based microfibers, ultimately aimed [...] Read more.
The development of biomaterials for wound healing applications requires providing a number of properties, such as antimicrobial action, facilitation of cell proliferation, biocompatibility and biodegradability. The aim of the present study was to investigate morphological and mechanical properties of zein-based microfibers, ultimately aimed at creating an environment suitable for wound healing. This was achieved through co-axial electrospinning of core–shell microfibers, with zein protein in the core and polyethylene oxide (PEO) in the shell. Small amounts of PEO or stearic acid were additionally incorporated into the fiber core to modify the morphology and mechanical properties of zein fibers. The presence of PEO in the core was found to be essential for the formation of tubular fibers, whereas PEO in the shell enhanced the stability of the microfibers in water and ensured high elasticity of the microfiber mats. Tetracycline hydrochloride was present in an amorphous form within the fibers, and displayed a burst release as a result of pore-formation in the fibers. The developed systems exhibited antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, and showed no cytotoxic effect on fibroblasts. Biocompatibility, antimicrobial activity and favorable morphological and mechanical properties make the developed zein-based microfibers a potential biomaterial for wound healing purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Approaches in Dermal Drug Delivery)
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Article
Salvianolic Acid B in Microemulsion Formulation Provided Sufficient Hydration for Dry Skin and Ameliorated the Severity of Imiquimod-induced Psoriasis-like Dermatitis in Mice
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050457 - 17 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1443
Abstract
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder with a pathogenesis involving the interleukin-23/interleukin-17 axis. Salvianolic acid B exerts several pharmacological effects, such as antioxidation, anti-inflammation, and antitumor effects. The anti-psoriatic effects of salvianolic acid B have not been reported. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder with a pathogenesis involving the interleukin-23/interleukin-17 axis. Salvianolic acid B exerts several pharmacological effects, such as antioxidation, anti-inflammation, and antitumor effects. The anti-psoriatic effects of salvianolic acid B have not been reported. In this study, we aimed to determine the optimum vehicle for salvianolic acid B, investigate its therapeutic effect on psoriatic-like skin conditions, and explore its underlying mechanisms of action. BALB/c mice were administered topical imiquimod to induce psoriasis-like skin and were then randomly assigned to control, vehicle control, salvianolic acid B in vehicles, and 0.25% desoximetasone ointment treatment groups. Barrier function, cytokine expression, histology assessment, and disease severity were evaluated. The results showed that salvianolic acid B-containing microemulsion alleviated disease severity, reduced acanthosis, and inhibited interleukin-23/interleukin-17 (IL-23/IL-17) cytokines, epidermal proliferation, and increased skin hydration. Our study suggests that salvianolic acid B represents a possible new therapeutic drug for the treatment of psoriasis. In addition, such formulation could obtain high therapeutic efficacy in addition to providing sufficient hydration for dry skin. Full article
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Communication
Retina-Targeted Delivery of 17β-Estradiol by the Topically Applied DHED Prodrug
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050456 - 16 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1489
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore retina-targeted delivery of 17β-estradiol (E2), a powerful neuroprotectant, by its bioprecursor prodrug 10β,17β-dihydroxyestra-1,4-dien-3-one (DHED) administered as eye drops in animal models. Compared to the parent hormone, DHED displayed increased transcorneal flux ex vivo both with [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to explore retina-targeted delivery of 17β-estradiol (E2), a powerful neuroprotectant, by its bioprecursor prodrug 10β,17β-dihydroxyestra-1,4-dien-3-one (DHED) administered as eye drops in animal models. Compared to the parent hormone, DHED displayed increased transcorneal flux ex vivo both with and without the presence of 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin used as a penetration-enhancing excipient in rat, rabbit, and pig. In vitro, the prodrug also showed facile bioactivation to E2 in the retina but not in the cornea. After topical administration to rats and rabbits, peak DHED-derived E2 concentrations reached 13 ± 5 ng/g and 18 ± 7 ng/g in the retina of female rats and rabbits, respectively. However, the prodrug remained inert in the rest of the body and, therefore, did not cause increase in circulating hormone concentration, as well as wet uterine and anterior pituitary weights as typical markers of E2′s endocrine impact. Altogether, our studies presented here have demonstrated the premise of topical retina-selective estrogen therapy by the DHED prodrug approach for the first time and provide compelling support for further investigation into the full potential of DHED for an efficacious and safe ocular neurotherapy. Full article
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Article
The Correlation between Physical Crosslinking and Water-Soluble Drug Release from Chitosan-Based Microparticles
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050455 - 16 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1190
Abstract
Microparticles containing water-soluble zidovudine were prepared by spray-drying using chitosan glutamate and beta-glycerophosphate as an ion crosslinker (CF). The Box–Behnken design was applied to optimize the microparticles in terms of their drug loading and release behavior. Physicochemical studies were undertaken to support the [...] Read more.
Microparticles containing water-soluble zidovudine were prepared by spray-drying using chitosan glutamate and beta-glycerophosphate as an ion crosslinker (CF). The Box–Behnken design was applied to optimize the microparticles in terms of their drug loading and release behavior. Physicochemical studies were undertaken to support the results from dissolution tests and to evaluate the impact of the crosslinking ratio on the microparticles’ characteristics. The zidovudine dissolution behavior had a complex nature which comprised two phases: an initial burst effect followed with a prolonged release stage. The initial drug release, which can be modulated by the crosslinking degree, was primarily governed by the dissolution of the drug crystals located on the microparticles’ surfaces. In turn, the further dissolution stage was related to the drug diffusion from the swollen polymer matrix and was found to correlate with the drug loading. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) studies revealed the partial incorporation of a non-crystallized drug within the polymer matrix, which correlated with the amount of CF. Although CF influenced the swelling capacity of chitosan glutamate microparticles, surprisingly a higher amount of CF did not impact the time required for 80% of the drug to be released markedly. The formulation with the lowest polymer:CF ratio, 3:1, was selected as optimal, providing satisfactory drug loading and displaying a moderate burst effect within the first 30 min of the study, followed with a prolonged drug release of up to 210 min. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Controlled Delivery Formulations)
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Article
Optimization of Mangifera indica L. Kernel Extract-Loaded Nanoemulsions via Response Surface Methodology, Characterization, Stability, and Skin Permeation for Anti-Acne Cosmeceutical Application
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050454 - 14 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1314
Abstract
This study aimed to optimize nanoemulsions loading with Mangifera indica L. kernel extract using response surface methodology for enhancing the stability and skin permeation of the extract. Central composite design was employed for optimization and evaluation of three influencing factors including hydrophile-lipophile balance [...] Read more.
This study aimed to optimize nanoemulsions loading with Mangifera indica L. kernel extract using response surface methodology for enhancing the stability and skin permeation of the extract. Central composite design was employed for optimization and evaluation of three influencing factors including hydrophile-lipophile balance (HLB), % co-surfactant (PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate), and surfactant-to-oil ratio (SOR) on physical properties of the nanoemulsions. The desired nanoemulsions were then incorporated with the extract and characterized. Physicochemical properties of the extract-loaded nanoemulsions and their antibacterial effects against Propionibacterium acnes were also evaluated after storage at various conditions and compared to those of the initial. Ex vivo skin permeation was also investigated. The factors significantly (p < 0.05) influenced on droplet size, polydispersity index (PDI), and zeta potential, especially HLB of the surfactant and its combined effects with co-surfactant and SOR. The extract-loaded nanoemulsions revealed a very small spherical droplets (size of 26.14 ± 0.22 nm) with narrow size distribution (PDI of 0.16 ± 0.02). The formulation also presented an excellent stability profile and successfully enhanced antibacterial stability of the extract comparing with the extract solution. Ex vivo skin permeation study illustrated that the extract in nanoemulsions could be delivered through a primary skin barrier to reach viable epidermis dermis layers. In conclusion, the affinity of surfactant and hydrophilicity of the system play a crucial role in nanoemulsions’ characteristics. Such results might provide promising anti-acne nanoemulsions with the notable capacities of extract stabilization and permeation enhancing which will be further clinically evaluated. Full article
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Review
Model-Based Scale-up Methodologies for Pharmaceutical Granulation
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(5), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12050453 - 14 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1714
Abstract
In the pharmaceutical industry, it is a major challenge to maintain consistent quality of drug products when the batch scale of a process is changed from a laboratory scale to a pilot or commercial scale. Generally, a pharmaceutical manufacturing process involves various unit [...] Read more.
In the pharmaceutical industry, it is a major challenge to maintain consistent quality of drug products when the batch scale of a process is changed from a laboratory scale to a pilot or commercial scale. Generally, a pharmaceutical manufacturing process involves various unit operations, such as blending, granulation, milling, tableting and coating and the process parameters of a unit operation have significant effects on the quality of the drug product. Depending on the change in batch scale, various process parameters should be strategically controlled to ensure consistent quality attributes of a drug product. In particular, the granulation may be significantly influenced by scale variation as a result of changes in various process parameters and equipment geometry. In this study, model-based scale-up methodologies for pharmaceutical granulation are presented, along with data from various related reports. The first is an engineering-based modeling method that uses dimensionless numbers based on process similarity. The second is a process analytical technology-based modeling method that maintains the desired quality attributes through flexible adjustment of process parameters by monitoring the quality attributes of process products in real time. The third is a physics-based modeling method that involves a process simulation that understands and predicts drug quality through calculation of the behavior of the process using physics related to the process. The applications of these three scale-up methods are summarized according to granulation mechanisms, such as wet granulation and dry granulation. This review shows that these model-based scale-up methodologies provide a systematic process strategy that can ensure the quality of drug products in the pharmaceutical industry. Full article
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