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Pharmaceutics, Volume 13, Issue 2 (February 2021) – 169 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Conceptualization of new delivery systems and the application of technologically sustainable processes are key elements for pharmaceutical industry modernization. From a formulation point of view, some issues in pharmaceutical therapies such as instability, poor membrane permeability, and bioavailability of drugs can be solved by the design of suitable delivery systems based on the combination of two pillar classes of ingredients: polymers and lipids. At the same time, innovative technological approaches are required to overcome production limitations (low productivity, high energy consumption, expensive setup, long process times) to pass at the industrial level. View this paper.
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Open AccessArticle
Augmented Therapeutic Potential of Glutaminase Inhibitor CB839 in Glioblastoma Stem Cells Using Gold Nanoparticle Delivery
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020295 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 519
Abstract
Gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) are studied as delivery systems to enhance the effect of the glutaminase1 inhibitor CB839, a promising drug candidate already in clinical trials for tumor treatments. Au NPs were synthesized using a bottom-up approach and covered with polymers able to [...] Read more.
Gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) are studied as delivery systems to enhance the effect of the glutaminase1 inhibitor CB839, a promising drug candidate already in clinical trials for tumor treatments. Au NPs were synthesized using a bottom-up approach and covered with polymers able to bind CB839 as a Au-polymer-CB839 conjugate. The drug loading efficiency (DLE) was determined using high-performance liquid chromatography and characterization of the CB839-loaded NPs was done with various microscopic and spectroscopic methods. Despite the chemical inertness of CB839, Au NPs were efficient carriers with a DLE of up to 12%, depending on the polymer used. The therapeutic effect of CB839 with and without Au was assessed in vitro in 2D and 3D glioblastoma (GBM) cell models using different assays based on the colony formation ability of GBM stem cells (GSCs). To avoid readout disturbances from the Au metal, viability methods which do not require optical detection were hereby optimized. These showed that Au NP delivery increased the efficacy of CB839 in GSCs, compared to CB839 alone. Fluorescent microscopy proved successful NP penetration into the GSCs. With this first attempt to combine CB839 with Au nanotechnology, we hope to overcome delivery hurdles of this pharmacotherapy and increase bioavailability in target sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Nanomedicine—From the Bench to the Bedside)
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Open AccessArticle
Acceptability of a Sublingual Drug Formulation for Respiratory Tract Infections in Children Aged 3 to 5 Years
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020294 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 408
Abstract
In pediatrics, acceptability has emerged as a key factor for compliance, and consequently for treatment safety and efficacy. Polyvalent mechanical bacterial lysate (PMBL) in 50-mg sublingual tablets is indicated in children and adults for the prophylaxis of recurrent respiratory tract infections. This medication [...] Read more.
In pediatrics, acceptability has emerged as a key factor for compliance, and consequently for treatment safety and efficacy. Polyvalent mechanical bacterial lysate (PMBL) in 50-mg sublingual tablets is indicated in children and adults for the prophylaxis of recurrent respiratory tract infections. This medication may be prescribed in children over 3 years of age; the appropriateness of this sublingual formulation should thus be demonstrated amongst young children. Using a multivariate approach integrating the many aspects of acceptability, standardized observer reports were collected for medication intake over the course of treatment (days 1, 2, and 10) in 37 patients aged 3 to 5 years, and then analyzed in an intelligible model: the acceptability reference framework. According to this multidimensional model, 50-mg PMBL sublingual tablets were classified as “positively accepted” in children aged 3 to 5 years on all three days of evaluation. As the acceptability evaluation should be relative, we demonstrated that there was no significant difference between the acceptability of these sublingual tablets and a score reflecting the average acceptability of oral/buccal medicines in preschoolers. These results highlight that sublingual formulations could be appropriate for use in preschoolers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Adaptation of New and Better Pediatric Drugs)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Influence of Equipment Design and Process Parameters on Granule Breakage in a Semi-Continuous Fluid Bed Dryer after Continuous Twin-Screw Wet Granulation
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020293 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 423
Abstract
The drying unit of a continuous from-powder-to-tablet manufacturing line based on twin-screw granulation (TSG) is a crucial intermediate process step to achieve the desired tablet quality. Understanding the size reduction of pharmaceutical granules before, during, and after the fluid bed drying process is, [...] Read more.
The drying unit of a continuous from-powder-to-tablet manufacturing line based on twin-screw granulation (TSG) is a crucial intermediate process step to achieve the desired tablet quality. Understanding the size reduction of pharmaceutical granules before, during, and after the fluid bed drying process is, however, still lacking. A first major goal was to investigate the breakage and attrition phenomena during transport of wet and dry granules, the filling phase, and drying phase on a ConsiGma-25 system (C25). Pneumatic transport of the wet granules after TSG towards the dryer induced extensive breakage, whereas the turbulent filling and drying phase of the drying cells caused rather moderate breakage and attrition. Subsequently, the dry transfer line was responsible for additional extensive breakage and attrition. The second major goal was to compare the influence of drying air temperature and drying time on granule size and moisture content for granules processed with a commercial-scale ConsiGma-25 system and with the R&D-scale ConsiGma-1 (C1) system. Generally, the granule quality obtained after drying with C1 was not predictive for the C25, making it challenging during process development with the C1 to obtain representative granules for the C25. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuous Twin Screw Granulation)
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Open AccessArticle
The Use of a Non-Conventional Long-Lived Gallium Radioisotope 66Ga Improves Imaging Contrast of EGFR Expression in Malignant Tumours Using DFO-ZEGFR:2377 Affibody Molecule
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020292 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 372
Abstract
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is overexpressed in many malignancies. EGFR-targeted therapy extends survival of patients with disseminated cancers. Radionuclide molecular imaging of EGFR expression would make EGFR-directed treatment more personalized and therefore more efficient. A previous study demonstrated that affibody molecule [ [...] Read more.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is overexpressed in many malignancies. EGFR-targeted therapy extends survival of patients with disseminated cancers. Radionuclide molecular imaging of EGFR expression would make EGFR-directed treatment more personalized and therefore more efficient. A previous study demonstrated that affibody molecule [68Ga]Ga-DFO-ZEGFR:2377 permits specific positron-emission tomography (PET) imaging of EGFR expression in xenografts at 3 h after injection. We anticipated that imaging at 24 h after injection would provide higher contrast, but this is prevented by the short half-life of 68Ga (67.6 min). Here, we therefore tested the hypothesis that the use of the non-conventional long-lived positron emitter 66Ga (T1/2 = 9.49 h, β+ = 56.5%) would permit imaging with higher contrast. 66Ga was produced by the 66Zn(p,n)66Ga nuclear reaction and DFO-ZEGFR:2377 was efficiently labelled with 66Ga with preserved binding specificity in vitro and in vivo. At 24 h after injection, [66Ga]Ga-DFO-ZEGFR:2377 provided 3.9-fold higher tumor-to-blood ratio and 2.3-fold higher tumor-to-liver ratio than [68Ga]Ga-DFO-ZEGFR:2377 at 3 h after injection. At the same time point, [66Ga]Ga-DFO-ZEGFR:2377 provided 1.8-fold higher tumor-to-blood ratio, 3-fold higher tumor-to-liver ratio, 1.9-fold higher tumor-to-muscle ratio and 2.3-fold higher tumor-to-bone ratio than [89Zr]Zr-DFO-ZEGFR:2377. Biodistribution data were confirmed by whole body PET combined with magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI). The use of the positron emitter 66Ga for labelling of DFO-ZEGFR:2377 permits PET imaging of EGFR expression at 24 h after injection and improves imaging contrast. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Naringenin Nano-Delivery Systems and Their Therapeutic Applications
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020291 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 906
Abstract
Naringenin (NRG) is a polyphenolic phytochemical belonging to the class of flavanones and is widely distributed in citrus fruits and some other fruits such as bergamot, tomatoes, cocoa, and cherries. NRG presents several interesting pharmacological properties, such as anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory activities. [...] Read more.
Naringenin (NRG) is a polyphenolic phytochemical belonging to the class of flavanones and is widely distributed in citrus fruits and some other fruits such as bergamot, tomatoes, cocoa, and cherries. NRG presents several interesting pharmacological properties, such as anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory activities. However, the therapeutic potential of NRG is hampered due to its hydrophobic nature, which leads to poor bioavailability. Here, we review a wide range of nanocarriers that have been used as delivery systems for NRG, including polymeric nanoparticles, micelles, liposomes, solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs), nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs), nanosuspensions, and nanoemulsions. These nanomedicine formulations of NRG have been applied as a potential treatment for several diseases, using a wide range of in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo models and different routes of administration. From this review, it can be concluded that NRG is a potential therapeutic option for the treatment of various diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders, liver diseases, ocular disorders, inflammatory diseases, skin diseases, and diabetes when formulated in the appropriate nanocarriers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modulation of Inflammatory Mediators by Polymeric Nanoparticles Loaded with Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020290 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 445
Abstract
The first-line treatment of osteoarthritis is based on anti-inflammatory drugs, the most currently used being nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, selective cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) inhibitors and corticoids. Most of them present cytotoxicity and low bioavailability in physiological conditions, making necessary the administration of high drug [...] Read more.
The first-line treatment of osteoarthritis is based on anti-inflammatory drugs, the most currently used being nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, selective cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) inhibitors and corticoids. Most of them present cytotoxicity and low bioavailability in physiological conditions, making necessary the administration of high drug concentrations causing several side effects. The goal of this work was to encapsulate three hydrophobic anti-inflammatory drugs of different natures (celecoxib, tenoxicam and dexamethasone) into core-shell terpolymer nanoparticles with potential applications in osteoarthritis. Nanoparticles presented hydrodynamic diameters between 110 and 130 nm and almost neutral surface charges (between −1 and −5 mV). Encapsulation efficiencies were highly dependent on the loaded drug and its water solubility, having higher values for celecoxib (39–72%) followed by tenoxicam (20–24%) and dexamethasone (14–26%). Nanoencapsulation reduced celecoxib and dexamethasone cytotoxicity in human articular chondrocytes and murine RAW264.7 macrophages. Moreover, the three loaded systems did not show cytotoxic effects in a wide range of concentrations. Celecoxib and dexamethasone-loaded nanoparticles reduced the release of different inflammatory mediators (NO, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, PGE2 and IL-10) by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7. Tenoxicam-loaded nanoparticles reduced NO and PGE2 production, although an overexpression of IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-10 was observed. Finally, all nanoparticles proved to be biocompatible in a subcutaneous injection model in rats. These findings suggest that these loaded nanoparticles could be suitable candidates for the treatment of inflammatory processes associated with osteoarthritis due to their demonstrated in vitro activity as regulators of inflammatory mediator production. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Stability Evaluation of Extemporaneously Compounded Vancomycin Ophthalmic Drops: Effect of Solvents and Storage Conditions
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020289 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 412
Abstract
Vancomycin is the drug of choice for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus keratitis and other ocular infections. Vancomycin ophthalmic drops are not commercially available and require compounding. The present study was designed to investigate the stability of vancomycin ophthalmic drops in normal saline, phosphate-buffered saline [...] Read more.
Vancomycin is the drug of choice for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus keratitis and other ocular infections. Vancomycin ophthalmic drops are not commercially available and require compounding. The present study was designed to investigate the stability of vancomycin ophthalmic drops in normal saline, phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), and balanced salt solution (BSS) while stored at room temperature or under refrigeration. Vancomycin ophthalmic drops (50 mg/mL) were aseptically prepared from commercially available intravenous powder using PBS, BSS, and saline. Solutions were stored at room temperature and in a refrigerator for 28 days. The vancomycin stability was tested by a microbiology assay and high-performance liquid chromatography HPLC analysis immediately after formulation and at days 7, 14, and 28 after storage at room temperature or under refrigeration. The pH, turbidity was also tested. Vancomycin formulations in PBS, BSS and normal saline had initial pH of 5; 5.5; 3 respectively. The formulation in PBS developed turbidity and a slight decrease in pH upon storage. Microbiological assay did not show any change in zone of inhibition with any of the formulation upon storage either at room temperature or under refrigeration. HPLC analysis did not detect any decrease in vancomycin concentration or the accumulation of degraded products in any of the formulations upon storage either at room temperature or under refrigeration. Vancomycin ophthalmic drops prepared using PBS, BSS, and normal saline were stable up to the tested time point of 28 days, irrespective of their storage temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Formulations with Antimicrobial Properties)
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Open AccessReview
Suprachoroidal Delivery of Small Molecules, Nanoparticles, Gene and Cell Therapies for Ocular Diseases
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020288 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 875
Abstract
Suprachoroidal drug delivery technology has advanced rapidly and emerged as a promising administration route for a variety of therapeutic candidates, in order to target multiple ocular diseases, ranging from neovascular age-related macular degeneration to choroidal melanoma. This review summarizes the latest preclinical and [...] Read more.
Suprachoroidal drug delivery technology has advanced rapidly and emerged as a promising administration route for a variety of therapeutic candidates, in order to target multiple ocular diseases, ranging from neovascular age-related macular degeneration to choroidal melanoma. This review summarizes the latest preclinical and clinical progress in suprachoroidal delivery of therapeutic agents, including small molecule suspensions, polymeric entrapped small molecules, gene therapy (viral and nonviral nanoparticles), viral nanoparticle conjugates (VNCs), and cell therapy. Formulation customization is critical in achieving favorable pharmacokinetics, and sustained drug release profiles have been repeatedly observed for multiple small molecule suspensions and polymeric formulations. Novel therapeutic agents such as viral and nonviral gene therapy, as well as VNCs, have demonstrated promise in animal studies. Several of these suprachoroidally-administered therapies have been assessed in clinical trials, including small molecule suspensions of triamcinolone acetonide and axitinib, viral vector RGX-314 for gene therapy, and VNC AU-011. With continued drug delivery research and optimization, coupled with customized drug formulations, suprachoroidal drug delivery may address large unmet therapeutic needs in ophthalmology, targeting affected tissues with novel therapies for efficacy benefits, compartmentalizing therapies away from unaffected tissues for safety benefits, and achieving durability to relieve the treatment burden noted with current agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Ophthalmic Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessReview
Bio-Inspired and Smart Nanoparticles for Triple Negative Breast Cancer Microenvironment
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020287 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 546
Abstract
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) with poor prognosis and aggressive nature accounts for 10–20% of all invasive breast cancer (BC) cases and is detected in as much as 15% of individuals diagnosed with BC. Currently, due to the absence of the estrogen receptor [...] Read more.
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) with poor prognosis and aggressive nature accounts for 10–20% of all invasive breast cancer (BC) cases and is detected in as much as 15% of individuals diagnosed with BC. Currently, due to the absence of the estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2) receptor, there is no hormone-based therapy for TNBC. In addition, there are still no FDA-approved targeted therapies for patients with TNBC. TNBC treatment is challenging owing to poor prognosis, tumor heterogeneity, chemotherapeutic side effects, the chance of metastasis, and multiple drug-resistance. Therefore, various bio-inspired tumor-homing nano systems responding to intra- and extra- cellular stimuli are an urgent need to treat TNBC patients who do not respond to current chemotherapy. In this review, intensive efforts have been made for exploring cell-membrane coated nanoparticles and immune cell-targeted nanoparticles (immunotherapy) to modulate the tumor microenvironment and deliver accurate amounts of therapeutic agents to TNBC without stimulating the immune system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology)
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Open AccessReview
Scale-up of Electrospinning: Market Overview of Products and Devices for Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Purposes
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020286 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 459
Abstract
Recently, the electrospinning (ES) process has been extensively studied due to its potential applications in various fields, particularly pharmaceutical and biomedical purposes. The production rate using typical ES technology is usually around 0.01–1 g/h, which is lower than pharmaceutical industry production requirements. Therefore, [...] Read more.
Recently, the electrospinning (ES) process has been extensively studied due to its potential applications in various fields, particularly pharmaceutical and biomedical purposes. The production rate using typical ES technology is usually around 0.01–1 g/h, which is lower than pharmaceutical industry production requirements. Therefore, different companies have worked to develop electrospinning equipment, technological solutions, and electrospun materials into large-scale production. Different approaches have been explored to scale-up the production mainly by increasing the nanofiber jet through multiple needles, free-surface technologies, and hybrid methods that use an additional energy source. Among them, needleless and centrifugal methods have gained the most attention and applications. Besides, the production rate reached (450 g/h in some cases) makes these methods feasible in the pharmaceutical industry. The present study overviews and compares the most recent ES approaches successfully developed for nanofibers’ large-scale production and accompanying challenges with some examples of applied approaches in drug delivery systems. Besides, various types of commercial products and devices released to the markets have been mentioned. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Development of Electrospinning for Drug Delivery Volume II)
Open AccessArticle
Shared IVIVR for Five Commercial Enabling Formulations Using the BiPHa+ Biphasic Dissolution Assay
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020285 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 407
Abstract
The present study intended to confirm the in vivo relevance of the BiPHa+ biphasic dissolution assay using a single set of assay parameters. Herein, we evaluated five commercial drug products formulated by various enabling formulation principles under fasted conditions using the BiPHa+ assay. [...] Read more.
The present study intended to confirm the in vivo relevance of the BiPHa+ biphasic dissolution assay using a single set of assay parameters. Herein, we evaluated five commercial drug products formulated by various enabling formulation principles under fasted conditions using the BiPHa+ assay. The in vitro partitioning profiles in the organic phase were compared with human pharmacokinetic data obtained from literature. In the first part, a meaningful in vitro dose of the formulations was assessed by determining the maximum drug concentration in the artificial absorption sink during dissolution (organic 1-decanol layer, Cdec,max). Then, the maximum concentration of the partitioned drug in the organic layer was correlated with the in vivo fraction absorbed, which was derived from published human pharmacokinetic data. Fraction absorbed represents the percentage, which is absorbed from the intestine without considering first pass. It was found that the maximum drug concentration in the organic phase obtained from an in vitro dose of ten milligrams, which is equivalent to 15–25 µmol of the respective drug, led to the highest congruency with the fraction absorbed in vivo. In the second part, the in vivo relevance of the BiPHa+ dissolution data was verified by establishing a shared in vitro/in vivo relationship including all formulations. Based on the in vitro kinetics of the BiPHa+ experiments human in vivo plasma profiles were predicted using convolutional modelling approach. Subsequently, the calculated pharmacokinetic profiles were compared with in vivo performance of the studied drug products to assess the predictive power of the BiPHa+ assay. The BiPHa+ assay demonstrated biorelevance for the investigated in vitro partitioning profiles using a single set of assay parameters, which was verified based on human pharmacokinetic data of the five drug products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
In Silico Simulation of the Systemic Drug Exposure Following the Topical Application of Opioid Analgesics in Patients with Cutaneous Lesions
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020284 - 21 Feb 2021
Viewed by 441
Abstract
The use of opioid analgesics in treating severe pain is frequently associated with putative adverse effects in humans. Topical agents that are shown to have high efficacy with a favorable safety profile in clinical settings are great alternatives for pain management of multimodal [...] Read more.
The use of opioid analgesics in treating severe pain is frequently associated with putative adverse effects in humans. Topical agents that are shown to have high efficacy with a favorable safety profile in clinical settings are great alternatives for pain management of multimodal analgesia. However, the risk of side effects induced by transdermal absorption and systemic exposure is of great concern as they are challenging to predict. The present study aimed to use “BIOiSIM” an artificial intelligence-integrated biosimulation platform to predict the transdermal disposition of opioid analgesics. The model successfully predicted their exposure following the topical application of central opioid agonist buprenorphine and peripheral agonist oxycodone in healthy human subjects with simulation of intra-skin exposure in subjects with burns and pressure wounds. The predicted plasma levels of analgesics were used to evaluate the safety of the therapeutic pain control in patients with the dermal structural impairments caused by acute (burns) or chronic cutaneous lesions (pressure wounds) with topical opioid analgesics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Topical Drug Delivery in the Treatment of Pain)
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Open AccessArticle
On Absorption Modeling and Food Effect Prediction of Rivaroxaban, a BCS II Drug Orally Administered as an Immediate-Release Tablet
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020283 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 685
Abstract
The present work evaluates the food effect on the absorption of rivaroxaban (Riva), a BCS II drug, from the orally administered commercial immediate-release tablet (Xarelto IR) using physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) and conventional in vitro–in vivo correlation (IVIVC) models. The bioavailability of Riva [...] Read more.
The present work evaluates the food effect on the absorption of rivaroxaban (Riva), a BCS II drug, from the orally administered commercial immediate-release tablet (Xarelto IR) using physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) and conventional in vitro–in vivo correlation (IVIVC) models. The bioavailability of Riva upon oral administration of Xarelto IR tablet is reported to exhibit a positive food effect. The PBPK model for Riva was developed and verified using the previously reported in vivo data for oral solution (5 and 10 mg) and Xarelto IR tablet (5 and 10 mg dose strength). Once the PBPK model was established, the in vivo performance of the tablet formulation with the higher dose strength (Xarelto IR tablet 20 mg in fasted and fed state) was predicted using the experimentally obtained data of in vitro permeability, biorelevant solubility and in vitro dynamic dissolution data using United States Pharmacopeia (USP) IV flow-through cell apparatus. In addition, the mathematical IVIVC model was developed using the in vitro dissolution and in vivo profile of 20 mg strength Xarelto IR tablet in fasted condition. Using the developed IVIVC model, the pharmacokinetic (PK) profile of the Xarelto IR tablet in fed condition was predicted and compared with the PK parameters obtained via the PBPK model. A virtual in vivo PK study was designed using a single-dose, 3-treatment cross-over trial in 50 subjects to predict the PK profile of the Xarelto® IR tablet in the fed state. Overall, the results obtained from the IVIVC model were found to be comparable with those from the PBPK model. The outcome from both models pointed to the positive food effect on the in vivo profile of the Riva. The developed models thus can be effectively extended to establish bioequivalence for the marketed and novel complex formulations of Riva such as amorphous solid dispersions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Towards the Development of Long Circulating Phosphatidylserine (PS)- and Phosphatidylglycerol (PG)-Enriched Anti-Inflammatory Liposomes: Is PEGylation Effective?
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020282 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 499
Abstract
The anionic phospholipids (PLs) phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylglycerol (PG) are endogenous phospholipids with anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activity. A potential clinical use requires well-defined systems and for several applications, a long circulation time is desirable. Therefore, we aimed the development of long circulating liposomes [...] Read more.
The anionic phospholipids (PLs) phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylglycerol (PG) are endogenous phospholipids with anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activity. A potential clinical use requires well-defined systems and for several applications, a long circulation time is desirable. Therefore, we aimed the development of long circulating liposomes with intrinsic anti-inflammatory activity. Hence, PS- and PG-enriched liposomes were produced, whilst phosphatidylcholine (PC) liposomes served as control. Liposomes were either formulated as conventional or PEGylated formulations. They had diameters below 150 nm, narrow size distributions and composition-dependent surface charges. Pharmacokinetics were assessed non-invasively via in vivo fluorescence imaging (FI) and ex vivo in excised organs over 2 days. PC liposomes, conventionally formulated, were rapidly cleared from the circulation, while PEGylation resulted in prolongation of liposome circulation robustly distributing among most organs. In contrast, PS and PG liposomes, both as conventional or PEGylated formulations, were rapidly cleared. Non-PEGylated PS and PG liposomes did accumulate almost exclusively in the liver. In contrast, PEGylated PS and PG liposomes were observed mainly in liver and spleen. In summary, PEGylation of PS and PG liposomes was not effective to prolong the circulation time but caused a higher uptake in the spleen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Use of Phospholipids in Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle
Multicompartmental Lipopolyplex as Vehicle for Antigens and Genes Delivery in Vaccine Formulations
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020281 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 316
Abstract
Vector design and its characterization is an area of great interest in current vaccine research. In this article, we have formulated and characterized a multicompartmental lipopolyplex, which associates multiple liposomes and polyplexes in the same complex. These particles allow the simultaneous delivery of [...] Read more.
Vector design and its characterization is an area of great interest in current vaccine research. In this article, we have formulated and characterized a multicompartmental lipopolyplex, which associates multiple liposomes and polyplexes in the same complex. These particles allow the simultaneous delivery of lipid or water-soluble antigens associated with genes to the same cell, in much higher amounts than conventional lipopolyplexes. The vector characterization and optimization were carried out using liposomes with entrapped carboxyfluorescein and adapted electrophoretic assays. Two types of lipopolyplexes (containing hydrophilic or lipophilic antigens) were employed to evaluate their interest in vaccination. The lipopolyplex loaded with an extract of water-soluble melanoma proteins proved to efficiently induce humoral response in murine melanoma model, increasing the levels of IgM and IgG. The specificity of the immune response induced by the lipopolyplex was demonstrated in mice with the lipopolyplex containing the GD3 ganglioside lipid antigen, abundant in melanoma cells. The levels of anti-GD3 IgG increased markedly without modifying the expression of humoral antibodies against other gangliosides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liposomes for Vaccine Delivery)
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Open AccessReview
Patient-Derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) and Cerebral Organoids for Drug Screening and Development in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Opportunities and Challenges
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020280 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 676
Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) represents a group of neurodevelopmental diseases characterized by persistent deficits in social communication, interaction, and repetitive patterns of behaviors, interests, and activities. The etiopathogenesis is multifactorial with complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors. The clinical heterogeneity and complex [...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) represents a group of neurodevelopmental diseases characterized by persistent deficits in social communication, interaction, and repetitive patterns of behaviors, interests, and activities. The etiopathogenesis is multifactorial with complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors. The clinical heterogeneity and complex etiology of this pediatric disorder have limited the development of pharmacological therapies. The major limit to ASD research remains a lack of relevant human disease models which can faithfully recapitulate key features of the human pathology and represent its genetic heterogeneity. Recent advances in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), reprogrammed from somatic cells of patients into all types of patient-specific neural cells, have provided a promising cellular tool for disease modeling and development of novel drug treatments. The iPSCs technology allowed not only a better investigation of the disease etiopathogenesis but also opened up the potential for personalized therapies and offered new opportunities for drug discovery, pharmacological screening, and toxicity assessment. Moreover, iPSCs can be differentiated and organized into three-dimensional (3D) organoids, providing a model which mimics the complexity of the brain’s architecture and more accurately recapitulates tissue- and organ-level disease pathophysiology. The aims of this review were to describe the current state of the art of the use of human patient-derived iPSCs and brain organoids in modeling ASD and developing novel therapeutic strategies and to discuss the opportunities and major challenges in this rapidly moving field. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Iron Oxide Nanoparticle Uptake in Mouse Brachiocephalic Artery Atherosclerotic Plaque Quantified by T2-Mapping MRI
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020279 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 397
Abstract
The purpose of our study was to monitor the iron oxide contrast agent uptake in mouse brachiocephalic artery (BCA) atherosclerotic plaques in vivo by quantitative T2-mapping magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Female ApoE−/− mice (n = 32) on a 15-week [...] Read more.
The purpose of our study was to monitor the iron oxide contrast agent uptake in mouse brachiocephalic artery (BCA) atherosclerotic plaques in vivo by quantitative T2-mapping magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Female ApoE−/− mice (n = 32) on a 15-week Western-type diet developed advanced plaques in the BCA and were injected with ultra-small superparamagnetic iron oxides (USPIOs). Quantitative in vivo MRI at 9.4 T was performed with a Malcolm-Levitt (MLEV) prepared T2-mapping sequence to monitor the nanoparticle uptake in the atherosclerotic plaque. Ex vivo histology and particle electron paramagnetic resonance (pEPR) were used for validation. Longitudinal high-resolution in vivo T2-value maps were acquired with consistent quality. Average T2 values in the plaque decreased from a baseline value of 34.5 ± 0.6 ms to 24.0 ± 0.4 ms one day after injection and partially recovered to an average T2 of 27 ± 0.5 ms after two days. T2 values were inversely related to iron levels in the plaque as determined by ex vivo particle electron paramagnetic resonance (pEPR). We concluded that MRI T2 mapping facilitates a robust quantitative readout for USPIO uptake in atherosclerotic plaques in arteries near the mouse heart. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic and Functional Nanomaterials for Molecular Imaging)
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Open AccessReview
Nanomedicine for Gene Delivery and Drug Repurposing in the Treatment of Muscular Dystrophies
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020278 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Muscular Dystrophies (MDs) are a group of rare inherited genetic muscular pathologies encompassing a variety of clinical phenotypes, gene mutations and mechanisms of disease. MDs undergo progressive skeletal muscle degeneration causing severe health problems that lead to poor life quality, disability and premature [...] Read more.
Muscular Dystrophies (MDs) are a group of rare inherited genetic muscular pathologies encompassing a variety of clinical phenotypes, gene mutations and mechanisms of disease. MDs undergo progressive skeletal muscle degeneration causing severe health problems that lead to poor life quality, disability and premature death. There are no available therapies to counteract the causes of these diseases and conventional treatments are administered only to mitigate symptoms. Recent understanding on the pathogenetic mechanisms allowed the development of novel therapeutic strategies based on gene therapy, genome editing CRISPR/Cas9 and drug repurposing approaches. Despite the therapeutic potential of these treatments, once the actives are administered, their instability, susceptibility to degradation and toxicity limit their applications. In this frame, the design of delivery strategies based on nanomedicines holds great promise for MD treatments. This review focuses on nanomedicine approaches able to encapsulate therapeutic agents such as small chemical molecules and oligonucleotides to target the most common MDs such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and the Myotonic Dystrophies. The challenge related to in vitro and in vivo testing of nanosystems in appropriate animal models is also addressed. Finally, the most promising nanomedicine-based strategies are highlighted and a critical view in future developments of nanomedicine for neuromuscular diseases is provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Nanoparticulate Drug Delivery Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Characterization of Nano-Sized 4-Aminosalicylic Acid–Sulfamethazine Cocrystals
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020277 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 675
Abstract
Drug–drug cocrystals are formulated to produce combined medication, not just to modulate active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) properties. Nano-crystals adjust the pharmacokinetic properties and enhance the dissolution of APIs. Nano-cocrystals seem to enhance API properties by combining the benefits of both technologies. Despite the [...] Read more.
Drug–drug cocrystals are formulated to produce combined medication, not just to modulate active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) properties. Nano-crystals adjust the pharmacokinetic properties and enhance the dissolution of APIs. Nano-cocrystals seem to enhance API properties by combining the benefits of both technologies. Despite the promising opportunities of nano-sized cocrystals, the research at the interface of nano-technology and cocrystals has, however, been described to be in its infancy. In this study, high-pressure homogenization (HPH) and high-power ultrasound were used to prepare nano-sized cocrystals of 4-aminosalysilic acid and sulfamethazine in order to establish differences between the two methods in terms of cocrystal size, morphology, polymorphic form, and dissolution rate enhancement. It was found that both methods resulted in the formation of form I cocrystals with a high degree of crystallinity. HPH yielded nano-sized cocrystals, while those prepared by high-power ultrasound were in the micro-size range. Furthermore, HPH produced smaller-size cocrystals with a narrow size distribution when a higher pressure was used. Cocrystals appeared to be needle-like when prepared by HPH compared to those prepared by high-power ultrasound, which had a different morphology. The highest dissolution enhancement was observed in cocrystals prepared by HPH; however, both micro- and nano-sized cocrystals enhanced the dissolution of sulfamethazine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Nanocrystals)
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Open AccessReview
Penetration Enhancers for Topical Drug Delivery to the Ocular Posterior Segment—A Systematic Review
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020276 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 608
Abstract
There is an unmet clinical need for eye drop formulations to efficiently treat the diseases of the posterior ocular segment by non-invasive topical administration. Here, we systematically reviewed the literature on ocular penetration enhancers and their ability to transfer drugs to the posterior [...] Read more.
There is an unmet clinical need for eye drop formulations to efficiently treat the diseases of the posterior ocular segment by non-invasive topical administration. Here, we systematically reviewed the literature on ocular penetration enhancers and their ability to transfer drugs to the posterior segment of the eye in experimental studies. Our aim was to assess which penetration enhancer is the most efficient at delivering drugs to the posterior segment of the eye, when topically applied. We conducted a comprehensive search in three electronic databases (Ovid Embase, Ovid MEDLINE, and PubMed) to identify all the relevant manuscripts reported on ocular penetration enhancers based on the PRISMA guidelines. We identified 6540 records from our primary database search and filtered them per our inclusion/exclusion criteria to select a final list of 14 articles for qualitative synthesis. Of these, 11 studies used cell penetrating peptides (CPPs), 2 used chitosan, and 1 used benzalkonium chloride (BAC) as the penetration enhancer. Cationic and amphipathic CPPs, transactivator of transcription (TAT), and penetratin can be inferred to be the best among all the identified penetration enhancers for drug delivery to the fundus oculi via topical eye drop instillation. Further high-quality experimental studies are required to ascertain their quantitative efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Technologies to Treat Diseases of the Back of the Eye)
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Open AccessEditorial
Novel Anticancer Strategies
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020275 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 407
Abstract
Cancer incidence and mortality continue to increase rapidly worldwide [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies)
Open AccessArticle
Nanoparticles Dual Targeting Both Myeloma Cells and Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts Simultaneously to Improve Multiple Myeloma Treatment
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020274 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 466
Abstract
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and myeloma cells could mutually drive myeloma progression, indicating that drug delivery to kill both CAFs and myeloma cells simultaneously could achieve better therapeutic benefits than to kill each cell type alone. Here, we designed a dual-targeting drug delivery system [...] Read more.
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and myeloma cells could mutually drive myeloma progression, indicating that drug delivery to kill both CAFs and myeloma cells simultaneously could achieve better therapeutic benefits than to kill each cell type alone. Here, we designed a dual-targeting drug delivery system by conjugating paclitaxel (PTX)-loaded poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(lactic acid) nanoparticles (NPs) with a cyclic peptide (CNPs-PTX) with a special affinity with platelet-derived growth factor/platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR-β) overexpressed on both CAFs and myeloma cells. Cellular uptake experiments revealed that the cyclic peptide modification on CNPs could significantly enhance CNPs uptake by both CAFs and myeloma cells compared with unmodified NPs. Cytotoxicity tests showed that CNPs-PTX was more toxic to both CAFs and myeloma cells compared with its counterpart PTX-loaded conventional NPs (NPs-PTX). In vivo imaging and biodistribution experiments showed that CNPs could abundantly accumulate in tumors and were highly co-localized with CAFs and myeloma cells. The in vivo anti-tumor experiments confirmed that the anti-myeloma efficacy of CNPs-PTX was significantly stronger than that of NPs-PTX and free drugs. In summary, it is the first time that a dual-targeting strategy was utilized in the field of myeloma treatment through targeting both CAFs and myeloma cells simultaneously, which harbors a high potential of clinical translation for myeloma treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Formulations for Cancer Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle
Mucoadhesive Gelatin Buccal Films with Propranolol Hydrochloride: Evaluation of Mechanical, Mucoadhesive, and Biopharmaceutical Properties
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020273 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 587
Abstract
This study processes and characterizes propranolol hydrochloride/gelatin mucoadhesive buccal films. Two types of gelatin are used: Gelatin from porcine skin, type A (GA), and gelatin from bovine skin (GB). The influence of gelatin type on mechanical, mucoadhesive, and biopharmaceutical characteristics of buccal films [...] Read more.
This study processes and characterizes propranolol hydrochloride/gelatin mucoadhesive buccal films. Two types of gelatin are used: Gelatin from porcine skin, type A (GA), and gelatin from bovine skin (GB). The influence of gelatin type on mechanical, mucoadhesive, and biopharmaceutical characteristics of buccal films is evaluated. Fourier-Transfer infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis show that GA with propranolol hydrochloride (PRH) in the film (GAP) formed a physical mixture, whereas GB with PRH (GBP) form a compound-complex. Results of mechanical testing (tensile test, hardness) revealed that GAP films exhibit higher elastic modulus, tensile strength, and hardness. A mucoahesion test shows that GBP has higher adhesion strength, while GAP shows higher work of adhesion. Both in vitro release study and in silico simulation indicated that processed films can provide effective drug transport through the buccal mucosa. In silico simulation shows improved bioavailability from buccal films, in comparison to the immediate-release tablets—indicating that the therapeutic drug dose can be markedly reduced. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Regional Intestinal Drug Absorption: Biopharmaceutics and Drug Formulation
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020272 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 586
Abstract
The gastrointestinal tract (GIT) can be broadly divided into several regions: the stomach, the small intestine (which is subdivided to duodenum, jejunum, and ileum), and the colon. The conditions and environment in each of these segments, and even within the segment, are dependent [...] Read more.
The gastrointestinal tract (GIT) can be broadly divided into several regions: the stomach, the small intestine (which is subdivided to duodenum, jejunum, and ileum), and the colon. The conditions and environment in each of these segments, and even within the segment, are dependent on many factors, e.g., the surrounding pH, fluid composition, transporters expression, metabolic enzymes activity, tight junction resistance, different morphology along the GIT, variable intestinal mucosal cell differentiation, changes in drug concentration (in cases of carrier-mediated transport), thickness and types of mucus, and resident microflora. Each of these variables, alone or in combination with others, can fundamentally alter the solubility/dissolution, the intestinal permeability, and the overall absorption of various drugs. This is the underlying mechanistic basis of regional-dependent intestinal drug absorption, which has led to many attempts to deliver drugs to specific regions throughout the GIT, aiming to optimize drug absorption, bioavailability, pharmacokinetics, and/or pharmacodynamics. In this Editorial we provide an overview of the Special Issue "Regional Intestinal Drug Absorption: Biopharmaceutics and Drug Formulation". The objective of this Special Issue is to highlight the current progress and to provide an overview of the latest developments in the field of regional-dependent intestinal drug absorption and delivery, as well as pointing out the unmet needs of the field. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Nanoencapsulation of Pomegranate Extract to Increase Stability and Potential Dermatological Protection
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020271 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 568
Abstract
Pomegranate extract (PG-E) has been reported to exert a protective effect on the skin due to its antioxidant activity. Ingredients rich in phenolic compounds are unstable in extract solutions, and, therefore, the use of a suitable nanosystem to encapsulate this type of extract [...] Read more.
Pomegranate extract (PG-E) has been reported to exert a protective effect on the skin due to its antioxidant activity. Ingredients rich in phenolic compounds are unstable in extract solutions, and, therefore, the use of a suitable nanosystem to encapsulate this type of extract could be necessary in different biotechnological applications. Thus, we investigated the capacity of Brassica oleracea L. (cauliflower) inflorescence vesicles (CI-vesicles) to encapsulate PG-E and determined the stability and the antioxidant capacity of the system over time. In addition, the protective effect against UV radiation and heavy metals in HaCaT cells was also tested. The CI-vesicles had an entrapment efficiency of around 50%, and accelerated stability tests did not show significant changes in the parameters tested. The results for the HaCaT cells showed the non-cytotoxicity of the CI-vesicles containing PG-E and their protection against heavy metals (lead acetate and mercuric chloride) and UV-B radiation through a reduction of oxidative stress. The reduction of the percentage of deleted mtDNA (mtDNA4977, “common deletion”) in UV-treated HaCaT cells due to the presence of CI-vesicles containing PG-E indicated the mechanism of protection. Therefore, the effects of CI-vesicles loaded with PG-E against oxidative stress support their utilization as natural cosmeceuticals to protect skin health against external damage from environmental pollution and UV radiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liposomal Drug Delivery Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Pharmacokinetics of the CYP3A4 and CYP2B6 Inducer Carbamazepine and Its Drug–Drug Interaction Potential: A Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling Approach
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020270 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 512
Abstract
The anticonvulsant carbamazepine is frequently used in the long-term therapy of epilepsy and is a known substrate and inducer of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 and CYP2B6. Carbamazepine induces the metabolism of various drugs (including its own); on the other hand, its metabolism can [...] Read more.
The anticonvulsant carbamazepine is frequently used in the long-term therapy of epilepsy and is a known substrate and inducer of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 and CYP2B6. Carbamazepine induces the metabolism of various drugs (including its own); on the other hand, its metabolism can be affected by various CYP inhibitors and inducers. The aim of this work was to develop a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) parent−metabolite model of carbamazepine and its metabolite carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide, including carbamazepine autoinduction, to be applied for drug–drug interaction (DDI) prediction. The model was developed in PK-Sim, using a total of 92 plasma concentration−time profiles (dosing range 50–800 mg), as well as fractions excreted unchanged in urine measurements. The carbamazepine model applies metabolism by CYP3A4 and CYP2C8 to produce carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide, metabolism by CYP2B6 and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 2B7 and glomerular filtration. The carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide model applies metabolism by epoxide hydroxylase 1 (EPHX1) and glomerular filtration. Good DDI performance was demonstrated by the prediction of carbamazepine DDIs with alprazolam, bupropion, erythromycin, efavirenz and simvastatin, where 14/15 DDI AUClast ratios and 11/15 DDI Cmax ratios were within the prediction success limits proposed by Guest et al. The thoroughly evaluated model will be freely available in the Open Systems Pharmacology model repository. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) Modeling)
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Open AccessArticle
Surface Coating with Hyaluronic Acid-Gelatin-Crosslinked Hydrogel on Gelatin-Conjugated Poly(dimethylsiloxane) for Implantable Medical Device-Induced Fibrosis
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020269 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 556
Abstract
Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is a biocompatible polymer that has been applied in many fields. However, the surface hydrophobicity of PDMS can limit successful implementation, and this must be reduced by surface modification to improve biocompatibility. In this study, we modified the PDMS surface with [...] Read more.
Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is a biocompatible polymer that has been applied in many fields. However, the surface hydrophobicity of PDMS can limit successful implementation, and this must be reduced by surface modification to improve biocompatibility. In this study, we modified the PDMS surface with a hydrogel and investigated the effect of this on hydrophilicity, bacterial adhesion, cell viability, immune response, and biocompatibility of PDMS. Hydrogels were created from hyaluronic acid and gelatin using a Schiff-base reaction. The PDMS surface and hydrogel were characterized using nuclear magnetic resonance, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. The hydrophilicity of the surface was confirmed via a decrease in the water contact angle. Bacterial anti-adhesion was demonstrated for Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Ralstonia pickettii, and Staphylococcus epidermidis, and viability and improved distribution of human-derived adipose stem cells were also confirmed. Decreased capsular tissue responses were observed in vivo with looser collagen distribution and reduced cytokine expression on the hydrogel-coated surface. Hydrogel coating on treated PDMS is a promising method to improve the surface hydrophilicity and biocompatibility for surface modification of biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Nanoscience of Biomaterials for Biomedical Applications)
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Open AccessReview
Analytical Strategies to Analyze the Oxidation Products of Phytosterols, and Formulation-Based Approaches to Reduce Their Generation
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020268 - 16 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 854
Abstract
Phytosterols are a class of lipid molecules present in plants that are structurally similar to cholesterol and have been widely utilized as cholesterol-lowering agents. However, the susceptibility of phytosterols to oxidation has led to concerns regarding their safety and tolerability. Phytosterol oxidation products [...] Read more.
Phytosterols are a class of lipid molecules present in plants that are structurally similar to cholesterol and have been widely utilized as cholesterol-lowering agents. However, the susceptibility of phytosterols to oxidation has led to concerns regarding their safety and tolerability. Phytosterol oxidation products (POPs) present in a variety of enriched and non-enriched foods can show pro-atherogenic and pro-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it is crucial to screen and analyze various phytosterol-containing products for the presence of POPs and ultimately design or modify phytosterols in such a way that prevents the generation of POPs and yet maintains their pharmacological activity. The main approaches for the analysis of POPs include the use of mass spectrometry (MS) linked to a suitable separation technique, notably gas chromatography (GC). However, liquid chromatography (LC)-MS has the potential to simplify the analysis due to the elimination of any derivatization step, usually required for GC-MS. To reduce the transformation of phytosterols to their oxidized counterparts, formulation strategies can theoretically be adopted, including the use of microemulsions, microcapsules, micelles, nanoparticles, and liposomes. In addition, co-formulation with antioxidants, such as tocopherols, may prove useful in substantially preventing POP generation. The main objectives of this review article are to evaluate the various analytical strategies that have been adopted for analyzing them. In addition, formulation approaches that can prevent the generation of these oxidation products are proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Pharmaceutical Sciences in Canada)
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Open AccessArticle
Transmucosal Solid Lipid Nanoparticles to Improve Genistein Absorption via Intestinal Lymphatic Transport
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020267 - 16 Feb 2021
Viewed by 298
Abstract
Genistein (GEN) is a soy-derived isoflavone that exhibits several biological effects, such as neuroprotective activity and the prevention of several types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, due to its poor water solubility and the extensive first-pass metabolism, the oral bioavailability of GEN [...] Read more.
Genistein (GEN) is a soy-derived isoflavone that exhibits several biological effects, such as neuroprotective activity and the prevention of several types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, due to its poor water solubility and the extensive first-pass metabolism, the oral bioavailability of GEN is limited. In this work, solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) were developed to preferentially reach the intestinal lymphatic vessels, avoiding the first-pass metabolism of GEN. GEN-loaded SLN were obtained by a hot homogenization process, and the formulation parameters were chosen based on already formulated studies. The nanoparticles were characterized, and the preliminary in vitro chylomicron formation was evaluated. The cell uptake of selected nanocarriers was studied on the Caco-2 cell line and intestinal mucosa. The SLN, characterized by a spherical shape, showed an average diameter (about 280 nm) suitable for an intestinal lymphatic uptake, good stability during the testing time, and high drug loading capacity. Furthermore, the intestinal mucosa and Caco-2 cells were found to uptake SLN. The approximately two-fold increase in particle size suggested a possible interaction between SLN and the lipid components of chylomicrons like phospholipid; therefore, the results may support the potential for these SLN to improve oral GEN bioavailability via intestinal lymphatic absorption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mucoadhesive and Mucosal Drug Delivery Systems)
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Open AccessReview
Drug–Drug Interactions in Elderly Patients with Potentially Inappropriate Medications in Primary Care, Nursing Home and Hospital Settings: A Systematic Review and a Preliminary Study
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020266 - 16 Feb 2021
Viewed by 421
Abstract
Drug–drug interactions (DDI) occurring with potentially inappropriate medications (PIM) are additional risk factors that may increase the inappropriate character of PIM. The aim of this study was (1) to describe the prevalence and severity of DDI in patients with PIM and (2) to [...] Read more.
Drug–drug interactions (DDI) occurring with potentially inappropriate medications (PIM) are additional risk factors that may increase the inappropriate character of PIM. The aim of this study was (1) to describe the prevalence and severity of DDI in patients with PIM and (2) to evaluate the DDI specifically regarding PIM. This systematic review is based on a search carried out on PubMed and Web-of-Science from inception to June 30, 2020. We extracted data of original studies that assessed the prevalence of both DDI and PIM in elderly patients in primary care, nursing home and hospital settings. Four hundred and forty unique studies were identified: 91 were included in the qualitative analysis and 66 were included in the quantitative analysis. The prevalence of PIM in primary care, nursing home and hospital were 19.1% (95% confidence intervals (CI): 15.1–23.0%), 29.7% (95% CI: 27.8–31.6%) and 44.6% (95% CI: 28.3–60.9%), respectively. Clinically significant severe risk-rated DDI averaged 28.9% (95% CI: 17.2–40.6), in a hospital setting; and were approximately 7-to-9 lower in primary care and nursing home, respectively. Surprisingly, only four of these studies investigated DDI involving specifically PIM. Hence, given the high prevalence of severe DDI in patients with PIM, further investigations should be carried out on DDI involving specifically PIM which may increase their inappropriate character, and the risk of adverse drug reactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Pharmaceutics)
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