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Pharmaceutics, Volume 13, Issue 3 (March 2021) – 139 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Methotrexate (MTX) application in the treatment of several diseases is limited by its poor solubility in biological fluids, its poor bioavailability, and its toxicity. Encapsulating its original form in nano-formulation is very arduous due to its solubility features. Two strategies to efficiently encapsulate MTX into liposomal particles are proposed in this study. MTX was conjugated to two different compounds, commonly enriching liposome formulations (DSPE and PEG). The two prodrugs (DSPE–MTX and PEG–MTX) were used to generate high drug content liposomes, which comprised one or both the molecules. These formulations represent an initial step in developing targeted liposomes or particles, which can be tailored for the specific applications that MTX is used for (cancer, autoimmune disease, etc.). View this paper.
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Open AccessArticle
Elastic Bioresorbable Polymeric Capsules for Osmosis-Driven Delayed Burst Delivery of Vaccines
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030434 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 423
Abstract
Single-administration vaccine delivery systems are intended to improve the efficiency and efficacy of immunisation programs in both human and veterinary medicine. In this work, an osmotically triggered delayed delivery device was developed that was able to release a payload after a delay of [...] Read more.
Single-administration vaccine delivery systems are intended to improve the efficiency and efficacy of immunisation programs in both human and veterinary medicine. In this work, an osmotically triggered delayed delivery device was developed that was able to release a payload after a delay of approximately 21 days, in a consistent and reproducible manner. The device was constructed out of a flexible poly(ε-caprolactone) photo-cured network fabricated into a hollow tubular shape, which expelled approximately 10% of its total payload within 2 days after bursting. Characterisation of the factors that control the delay of release demonstrated that it was advantageous to adjust material permeability and device wall thickness over manipulation of the osmogent concentration in order to maintain reproducibility in burst delay times. The photo-cured poly(ε-caprolactone) network was shown to be fully degradable in vitro, and there was no evidence of cytotoxicity after 11 days of direct contact with primary dermal fibroblasts. This study provides strong evidence to support further development of flexible biomaterials with the aim of continuing improvement of the device burst characteristics in order to provide the greatest chance of the devices succeeding with in vivo vaccine booster delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing Approaches to Produce Drug Delivery Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Stability of Pharmaceutical Co-Crystals at Humid Conditions Can Be Predicted
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030433 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 355
Abstract
Knowledge of the stability of pharmaceutical formulations against relative humidity (RH) is essential if they are to become pharmaceutical products. The increasing interest in formulating active pharmaceutical ingredients as stable co-crystals (CCs) triggers the need for fast and reliable in-silico predictions of CC [...] Read more.
Knowledge of the stability of pharmaceutical formulations against relative humidity (RH) is essential if they are to become pharmaceutical products. The increasing interest in formulating active pharmaceutical ingredients as stable co-crystals (CCs) triggers the need for fast and reliable in-silico predictions of CC stability as a function of RH. CC storage at elevated RH can lead to deliquescence, which leads to CC dissolution and possible transformation to less soluble solid-state forms. In this work, the deliquescence RHs of the CCs succinic acid/nicotinamide, carbamazepine/nicotinamide, theophylline/citric acid, and urea/glutaric acid were predicted using the Perturbed-Chain Statistical Associating Fluid Theory (PC-SAFT). These deliquescence RH values together with predicted phase diagrams of CCs in water were used to determine critical storage conditions, that could lead to CC instability, that is, CC dissolution and precipitation of its components. The importance of CC phase purity on RH conditions for CC stability is demonstrated, where trace levels of a separate phase of active pharmaceutical ingredient or of coformer can significantly decrease the deliquescence RH. The use of additional excipients such as fructose or xylitol was predicted to decrease the deliquescence RH even further. All predictions were successfully validated by stability measurements at 58%, 76%, 86%, 93%, and 98% RH and 25 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stability and Dissolution Behavior of Pharmaceutical Cocrystals)
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Open AccessArticle
Hyaluronic Acid Supplement as a Chondrogenic Adjuvant in Promoting the Therapeutic Efficacy of Stem Cell Therapy in Cartilage Healing
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030432 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 323
Abstract
The main aim of this study is to investigate the therapeutic efficacy of direct intra-articular injection of bone-marrow-derived stem/stromal cells (BMSCs) and the adjuvant role of hyaluronic acid (HA) in facilitating rabbit articular cartilage repair. First, rabbit BMSCs were treated with a medium [...] Read more.
The main aim of this study is to investigate the therapeutic efficacy of direct intra-articular injection of bone-marrow-derived stem/stromal cells (BMSCs) and the adjuvant role of hyaluronic acid (HA) in facilitating rabbit articular cartilage repair. First, rabbit BMSCs were treated with a medium containing different concentrations of HA. Later, HA’s influence on BMSCs’ CD44 expression, cell viability, extracellular glycosaminoglycan (GAG) synthesis, and chondrogenic gene expression was evaluated during seven-day cultivation. For the in vivo experiment, 24 rabbits were used for animal experiments and 6 rabbits were randomly allocated to each group. Briefly, chondral defects were created at the medial femoral condyle; group 1 was left untreated, group 2 was injected with HA, group 3 was transplanted with 3 × 106 BMSCs, and group 4 was transplanted with 3 × 106 BMSCs suspended in HA. Twelve weeks post-treatment, the repair outcome in each group was assessed and compared both macroscopically and microscopically. Results showed that HA treatment can promote cellular CD44 expression. However, the proliferation rate of BMSCs was downregulated when treated with 1 mg/mL (3.26 ± 0.03, p = 0.0002) and 2 mg/mL (2.61 ± 0.04, p = 0.0001) of HA compared to the control group (3.49 ± 0.05). In contrast, 2 mg/mL (2.86 ± 0.3) of HA treatment successfully promoted normalized GAG expression compared to the control group (1.88 ± 0.06) (p = 0.0009). The type II collagen gene expression of cultured BMSCs was significantly higher in BMSCs treated with 2 mg/mL of HA (p = 0.0077). In the in vivo experiment, chondral defects treated with combined BMSC and HA injection demonstrated better healing outcomes than BMSC or HA treatment alone in terms of gross grading and histological scores. In conclusion, this study helps delineate the role of HA as a chondrogenic adjuvant in augmenting the effectiveness of stem-cell-based injection therapy for in vivo cartilage repair. From a translational perspective, the combination of HA and BMSCs is a convenient, ready-to-use, and effective formulation that can improve the therapeutic efficacy of stem-cell-based therapies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Inhalationally Administered Semifluorinated Alkanes (SFAs) as Drug Carriers in an Experimental Model of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030431 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 324
Abstract
Aerosol therapy in patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has so far failed in improving patients’ outcomes. This might be because dependent lung areas cannot be reached by conventional aerosols. Due to their physicochemical properties, semifluorinated alkanes (SFAs) could address this [...] Read more.
Aerosol therapy in patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has so far failed in improving patients’ outcomes. This might be because dependent lung areas cannot be reached by conventional aerosols. Due to their physicochemical properties, semifluorinated alkanes (SFAs) could address this problem. After induction of ARDS, 26 pigs were randomized into three groups: (1) control (Sham), (2) perfluorohexyloctane (F6H8), and (3) F6H8-ibuprofen. Using a nebulization catheter, (2) received 1 mL/kg F6H8 while (3) received 1 mL/kg F6H8 with 6 mg/mL ibuprofen. Ibuprofen plasma and lung tissue concentration, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid concentration of TNF-α, IL-8, and IL-6, and lung mechanics were measured. The ibuprofen concentration was equally distributed to the dependent parts of the right lungs. Pharmacokinetic data demonstrated systemic absorption of ibuprofen proofing a transport across the alveolo-capillary membrane. A significantly lower TNF-α concentration was observed in (2) and (3) when compared to the control group (1). There were no significant differences in IL-8 and IL-6 concentrations and lung mechanics. F6H8 aerosol seemed to be a suitable carrier for pulmonary drug delivery to dependent ARDS lung regions without having negative effects on lung mechanics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeted Drug Delivery for Inflammation Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Affibody-Derived Drug Conjugates Targeting HER2: Effect of Drug Load on Cytotoxicity and Biodistribution
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030430 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 334
Abstract
Affibody molecules hold great promise as carriers of cytotoxic drugs for cancer therapy due to their typically high affinity, easy production, and inherent control of the drug molecules’ loading and spatial arrangement. Here, the impact of increasing the drug load from one to [...] Read more.
Affibody molecules hold great promise as carriers of cytotoxic drugs for cancer therapy due to their typically high affinity, easy production, and inherent control of the drug molecules’ loading and spatial arrangement. Here, the impact of increasing the drug load from one to three on the properties of an affibody drug conjugate targeting the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) was investigated. The affibody carrier was recombinantly expressed as a fusion to an albumin-binding domain (ABD) for plasma half-life extension. One or three cysteine amino acids were placed at the C-terminus to which cytotoxic mcDM1 molecules were conjugated. The resulting drug conjugates, ZHER2–ABD–mcDM1 and ZHER2–ABD–mcDM13, were characterized in vitro, and their biodistribution in mice carrying HER2-overexpressing SKOV3 xenografts was determined. Increasing the drug load from one to three led to a decrease in affinity for HER2, but a significantly more potent cytotoxic effect on SKOV3 cells with high HER2 expression. The difference in cytotoxic effect on other cell lines with high HER2 expression was not significant. In vivo, an increase in drug load led to a 1.45-fold higher amount of cytotoxic mcDM1 delivered to the tumors. The increase in drug load also led to more rapid hepatic clearance, warranting further optimization of the molecular design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Mechanisms and Emerging Therapies)
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Open AccessReview
Silk Fibroin: An Ancient Material for Repairing the Injured Nervous System
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030429 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 445
Abstract
Silk refers to a family of natural fibers spun by several species of invertebrates such as spiders and silkworms. In particular, silkworm silk, the silk spun by Bombyx mori larvae, has been primarily used in the textile industry and in clinical settings as [...] Read more.
Silk refers to a family of natural fibers spun by several species of invertebrates such as spiders and silkworms. In particular, silkworm silk, the silk spun by Bombyx mori larvae, has been primarily used in the textile industry and in clinical settings as a main component of sutures for tissue repairing and wound ligation. The biocompatibility, remarkable mechanical performance, controllable degradation, and the possibility of producing silk-based materials in several formats, have laid the basic principles that have triggered and extended the use of this material in regenerative medicine. The field of neural soft tissue engineering is not an exception, as it has taken advantage of the properties of silk to promote neuronal growth and nerve guidance. In addition, silk has notable intrinsic properties and the by-products derived from its degradation show anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Finally, this material can be employed for the controlled release of factors and drugs, as well as for the encapsulation and implantation of exogenous stem and progenitor cells with therapeutic capacity. In this article, we review the state of the art on manufacturing methodologies and properties of fiber-based and non-fiber-based formats, as well as the application of silk-based biomaterials to neuroprotect and regenerate the damaged nervous system. We review previous studies that strategically have used silk to enhance therapeutics dealing with highly prevalent central and peripheral disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and peripheral trauma. Finally, we discuss previous research focused on the modification of this biomaterial, through biofunctionalization techniques and/or the creation of novel composite formulations, that aim to transform silk, beyond its natural performance, into more efficient silk-based-polymers towards the clinical arena of neuroprotection and regeneration in nervous system diseases. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Delivery Systems for Nucleic Acids and Proteins: Barriers, Cell Capture Pathways and Nanocarriers
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030428 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 535
Abstract
Gene therapy has been used as a potential approach to address the diagnosis and treatment of genetic diseases and inherited disorders. In this line, non-viral systems have been exploited as promising alternatives for delivering therapeutic transgenes and proteins. In this review, we explored [...] Read more.
Gene therapy has been used as a potential approach to address the diagnosis and treatment of genetic diseases and inherited disorders. In this line, non-viral systems have been exploited as promising alternatives for delivering therapeutic transgenes and proteins. In this review, we explored how biological barriers are effectively overcome by non-viral systems, usually nanoparticles, to reach an efficient delivery of cargoes. Furthermore, this review contributes to the understanding of several mechanisms of cellular internalization taken by nanoparticles. Because a critical factor for nanoparticles to do this relies on the ability to escape endosomes, researchers have dedicated much effort to address this issue using different nanocarriers. Here, we present an overview of the diversity of nanovehicles explored to reach an efficient and effective delivery of both nucleic acids and proteins. Finally, we introduced recent advances in the development of successful strategies to deliver cargoes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Barriers in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Biodistribution and Pharmacokinectics of Liposomes and Exosomes in a Mouse Model of Sepsis
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030427 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 505
Abstract
Exosomes have attracted considerable attention as drug delivery vehicles because their biological properties can be utilized for selective delivery of therapeutic cargoes to disease sites. In this context, analysis of the in vivo behaviors of exosomes in a diseased state is required to [...] Read more.
Exosomes have attracted considerable attention as drug delivery vehicles because their biological properties can be utilized for selective delivery of therapeutic cargoes to disease sites. In this context, analysis of the in vivo behaviors of exosomes in a diseased state is required to maximize their therapeutic potential as drug delivery vehicles. In this study, we investigated biodistribution and pharmacokinetics of HEK293T cell-derived exosomes and PEGylated liposomes, their synthetic counterparts, into healthy and sepsis mice. We found that biodistribution and pharmacokinetics of exosomes were significantly affected by pathophysiological conditions of sepsis compared to those of liposomes. In the sepsis mice, a substantial number of exosomes were found in the lung after intravenous injection, and their prolonged blood residence was observed due to the liver dysfunction. However, liposomes did not show such sepsis-specific effects significantly. These results demonstrate that exosome-based therapeutics can be developed to manage sepsis and septic shock by virtue of their sepsis-specific in vivo behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein-Based Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle
Self-Encapsulation of Biomacromolecule Drugs in Porous Microscaffolds with Aqueous Two-Phase Systems
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030426 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 349
Abstract
At present, the most commonly used methods of microencapsulation of protein drugs such as spray drying, multiple emulsification, and phase separation, can easily cause the problem of protein instability, which leads to low bioavailability and uncontrolled release of protein drugs. Herein, a novel [...] Read more.
At present, the most commonly used methods of microencapsulation of protein drugs such as spray drying, multiple emulsification, and phase separation, can easily cause the problem of protein instability, which leads to low bioavailability and uncontrolled release of protein drugs. Herein, a novel method to encapsulate protein drugs into porous microscaffolds effectively and stably was described. Ammonium hydrogen carbonate (NH4HCO3) was employed to prepare porous microscaffolds. α-Amylase was encapsulated into the porous microscaffolds without denaturing conditions by an aqueous two-phase system (PEG/Sulfate). The pores were closed by heating above the glass transition temperature to achieve a sustained release of microscaffolds. The pore-closed microscaffolds were characterized and released in vitro. The integrity and activity of protein drugs were investigated to verify that this method was friendly to protein drugs. Results showed that the pores were successfully closed and a high loading amount of 9.67 ± 6.28% (w/w) was achieved. The pore-closed microscaffolds released more than two weeks without initial burst, and a high relative activity (92% compared with native one) of protein demonstrated the feasibility of this method for protein drug encapsulation and delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tissue Engineered Biomaterials and Drug Delivery Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Bactericidal Properties of Rod-, Peanut-, and Star-Shaped Gold Nanoparticles Coated with Ceragenin CSA-131 against Multidrug-Resistant Bacterial Strains
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030425 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 294
Abstract
Background: The ever-growing number of infections caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial strains requires an increased effort to develop new antibiotics. Herein, we demonstrate that a new class of gold nanoparticles (Au NPs), defined by shape and conjugated with ceragenin CSA-131 (cationic steroid antimicrobial), [...] Read more.
Background: The ever-growing number of infections caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial strains requires an increased effort to develop new antibiotics. Herein, we demonstrate that a new class of gold nanoparticles (Au NPs), defined by shape and conjugated with ceragenin CSA-131 (cationic steroid antimicrobial), display strong bactericidal activity against intractable superbugs. Methods: For the purpose of research, we developed nanosystems with rod- (AuR [email protected]), peanut-(AuP [email protected]) and star-shaped (AuS [email protected]) metal cores. Those nanosystems were evaluated against bacterial strains representing various groups of MDR (multidrug-resistant) Gram-positive (MRSA, MRSE, and MLSb) and Gram-negative (ESBL, AmpC, and CR) pathogens. Assessment of MICs (minimum inhibitory concentrations)/MBCs (minimum bactericidal concentrations) and killing assays were performed as a measure of their antibacterial activity. In addition to a comprehensive analysis of bacterial responses involving the generation of ROS (reactive oxygen species), plasma membrane permeabilization and depolarization, as well as the release of protein content, were performed to investigate the molecular mechanisms of action of the nanosystems. Finally, their hemocompatibility was assessed by a hemolysis assay. Results: All of the tested nanosystems exerted potent bactericidal activity in a manner resulting in the generation of ROS, followed by damage of the bacterial membranes and the leakage of intracellular content. Notably, the killing action occurred with all of the bacterial strains evaluated, including those known to be drug resistant, and at concentrations that did not impact the growth of host cells. Conclusions: Conjugation of CSA-131 with Au NPs by covalent bond between the COOH group from MHDA and NH3 from CSA-131 potentiates the antimicrobial activity of this ceragenin if compared to its action alone. Results validate the development of AuR [email protected], AuP [email protected], and AuS [email protected] as potential novel nanoantibiotics that might effectively eradicate MDR bacteria. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
PEGylated Nanographene Oxide in Combination with Near-Infrared Laser Irradiation as a Smart Nanocarrier in Colon Cancer Targeted Therapy
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030424 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 334
Abstract
Anti-cancer therapies that integrate smart nanomaterials are the focus of cancer research in recent years. Here, we present our results with PEGylated nanographene oxide particles (nGO-PEG) and have studied their combined effect with near-infrared (NIR) irradiation on low and high invasive colorectal carcinoma [...] Read more.
Anti-cancer therapies that integrate smart nanomaterials are the focus of cancer research in recent years. Here, we present our results with PEGylated nanographene oxide particles (nGO-PEG) and have studied their combined effect with near-infrared (NIR) irradiation on low and high invasive colorectal carcinoma cells. The aim is to develop nGO-PEG as a smart nanocarrier for colon cancer-targeted therapy. For this purpose, nGO-PEG nanoparticles’ size, zeta potential, surface morphology, dispersion stability, aggregation, and sterility were determined and compared with pristine nGO nanoparticles (NPs). Our results show that PEGylation increased the particle sizes from 256.7 nm (pristine nGO) to 324.6 nm (nGO-PEG), the zeta potential from −32.9 to −21.6 mV, and wrinkled the surface of the nanosheets. Furthermore, nGO-PEG exhibited higher absorbance in the NIR region, as compared to unmodified nGO. PEGylated nGO demonstrated enhanced stability in aqueous solution, improved dispensability in the culture medium, containing 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) and amended biocompatibility. A strong synergic effect of nGO-PEG activated with NIR irradiation for 5 min (1.5 W/cm−2 laser) was observed on cell growth inhibition of low invasive colon cancer cells (HT29) and their wound closure ability while the effect of NIR on cellular morphology was relatively weak. Our results show that PEGylation of nGO combined with NIR irradiation holds the potential for a biocompatible smart nanocarrier in colon cancer cells with enhanced physicochemical properties and higher biological compatibility. For that reason, further optimization of the irradiation process and detailed screening of nGO-PEG in combination with NIR and chemotherapeutics on the fate of the colon cancer cells is a prerequisite for highly efficient combined nanothermal and photothermal therapy for colon cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Colon-Targeted Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle
Biocompatible DNA/5-Fluorouracil-Gemini Surfactant-Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles as Promising Vectors in Lung Cancer Therapy
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030423 - 21 Mar 2021
Viewed by 424
Abstract
The design and preparation of novel nanocarriers to transport cancer drugs for chemotherapy purposes is an important line of research in the medical field. A new 5-fluorouracil (5-Fu) transporter was designed based on the use of two new biocompatible gold nanosystems: (i) a [...] Read more.
The design and preparation of novel nanocarriers to transport cancer drugs for chemotherapy purposes is an important line of research in the medical field. A new 5-fluorouracil (5-Fu) transporter was designed based on the use of two new biocompatible gold nanosystems: (i) a gold nanoparticle precursor, [email protected], stabilized with the positively charged gemini surfactant 16-Ph-16, and (ii) the compacted nanocomplexes formed by the precursor and DNA/5-Fu complexes, [email protected]/DNA–5-Fu. The physicochemical properties of the obtained nanosystems were studied by using UV–visible spectroscopy, TEM, dynamic light scattering, and zeta potential techniques. Method tuning also requires the use of circular dichroism, atomic force microscopy, and fluorescence spectroscopy techniques for the prior selection of the optimal relative [email protected] and DNA concentrations (R = C[email protected]/CDNA), biopolymer compaction/decompaction, and 5-Fu release from the DNA/5-Fu complex. TEM experiments revealed the effective internalization of the both precursor and [email protected]/DNA–5-Fu-compacted nanosystems into the cells. Moreover, cytotoxicity assays and internalization experiments using TEM and confocal microscopy showed that the new strategy for 5-Fu administration enhanced efficacy, biocompatibility and selectivity against lung cancer cells. The differential uptake among different formulations is discussed in terms of the physicochemical properties of the nanosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Drug Based Nanosystems for Cancer Therapy)
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Open AccessReview
Modeling Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Therapeutic Antibodies: Progress, Challenges, and Future Directions
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030422 - 21 Mar 2021
Viewed by 484
Abstract
With more than 90 approved drugs by 2020, therapeutic antibodies have played a central role in shifting the treatment landscape of many diseases, including autoimmune disorders and cancers. While showing many therapeutic advantages such as long half-life and highly selective actions, therapeutic antibodies [...] Read more.
With more than 90 approved drugs by 2020, therapeutic antibodies have played a central role in shifting the treatment landscape of many diseases, including autoimmune disorders and cancers. While showing many therapeutic advantages such as long half-life and highly selective actions, therapeutic antibodies still face many outstanding issues associated with their pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD), including high variabilities, low tissue distributions, poorly-defined PK/PD characteristics for novel antibody formats, and high rates of treatment resistance. We have witnessed many successful cases applying PK/PD modeling to answer critical questions in therapeutic antibodies’ development and regulations. These models have yielded substantial insights into antibody PK/PD properties. This review summarized the progress, challenges, and future directions in modeling antibody PK/PD and highlighted the potential of applying mechanistic models addressing the development questions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Pharmacometrics in Drug Discovery and Development Process)
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Open AccessArticle
Multiparticulate Systems of Ezetimibe Micellar System and Atorvastatin Solid Dispersion Efficacy of Low-Dose Ezetimibe/Atorvastatin on High-Fat Diet-Induced Hyperlipidemia and Hepatic Steatosis in Diabetic Rats
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030421 - 20 Mar 2021
Viewed by 325
Abstract
The aim of this study was to develop multiparticulate systems with a combination of ezetimibe micellar systems and atorvastatin solid dispersions using croscarmellose as a hydrophilic vehicle and Kolliphor RH40 as a surfactant. The presence of a surfactant with low hydrophilic polymer ratios [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to develop multiparticulate systems with a combination of ezetimibe micellar systems and atorvastatin solid dispersions using croscarmellose as a hydrophilic vehicle and Kolliphor RH40 as a surfactant. The presence of a surfactant with low hydrophilic polymer ratios produces the rapid dissolution of ezetimibe through a drug–polymer interaction that reduces its crystallinity. The solid dispersion of atorvastatin with low proportions of croscarmellose showed drug–polymer interactions sufficient to produce the fast dissolution of atorvastatin. Efficacy studies were performed in diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rats with induced hyperlipidemia. The administration of multiparticulate systems of ezetimibe and atorvastatin at low (2 and 6.7 mg/kg) and high (3 and 10 mg/kg) doses showed similar improvements in levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, lipoproteins, alanine transaminase, and aspartate transaminase compared to the high-fat diet group. Multiparticulate systems at low doses (2 and 6.7 mg/kg of ezetimibe and atorvastatin) had a similar improvement in hepatic steatosis compared to the administration of ezetimibe and atorvastatin raw materials at high doses (3 and 10 mg/kg). These results confirm the effectiveness of solid dispersions with low doses of ezetimibe and atorvastatin to reduce high lipid levels and hepatic steatosis in diabetic rats fed a high-fat diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Solid Dispersion Technology 2.0)
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Open AccessArticle
Quinuclidine-Based Carbamates as Potential CNS Active Compounds
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030420 - 20 Mar 2021
Viewed by 319
Abstract
The treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases related to the decrease of neurotransmitter acetylcholine in neurons is based on compounds that prevent or disrupt the action of acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase. A series of thirteen quinuclidine carbamates were designed using quinuclidine as the [...] Read more.
The treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases related to the decrease of neurotransmitter acetylcholine in neurons is based on compounds that prevent or disrupt the action of acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase. A series of thirteen quinuclidine carbamates were designed using quinuclidine as the structural base and a carbamate group to ensure the covalent binding to the cholinesterase, which were synthesized and tested as potential human acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) inhibitors. The synthesized compounds differed in the substituents on the amino and carbamoyl parts of the molecule. All of the prepared carbamates displayed a time-dependent inhibition with overall inhibition rate constants in the 103 M−1 min−1 range. None of the compounds showed pronounced selectivity for any of the cholinesterases. The in silico determined ability of compounds to cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB) revealed that six compounds should be able to pass the BBB by passive transport. In addition, the compounds did not show toxicity toward cells that represented the main models of individual organs. By machine learning, the most optimal regression models for the prediction of bioactivity were established and validated. Models for AChE and BChE described 89 and 90% of the total variations among the data, respectively. These models facilitated the prediction and design of new and more potent inhibitors. Altogether, our study confirmed that quinuclidinium carbamates are promising candidates for further development as CNS-active drugs, particularly for Alzheimer’s disease treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Covalent Inhibitors as Selective Drug Candidates)
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Open AccessArticle
Continuous Manufacture and Scale-Up of Theophylline-Nicotinamide Cocrystals
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030419 - 20 Mar 2021
Viewed by 436
Abstract
The aim of the study was the manufacturing and scale-up of theophylline-nicotinamide (THL-NIC) pharmaceutical cocrystals processed by hot-melt extrusion (HME). The barrel temperature profile, feed rate and screw speed were found to be the critical processing parameters with a residence time of approximately [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was the manufacturing and scale-up of theophylline-nicotinamide (THL-NIC) pharmaceutical cocrystals processed by hot-melt extrusion (HME). The barrel temperature profile, feed rate and screw speed were found to be the critical processing parameters with a residence time of approximately 47 s for the scaled-up batches. Physicochemical characterization using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and X-ray diffraction of bulk and extruded materials revealed the formation of high purity cocrystals (98.6%). The quality of THL-NIC remained unchanged under accelerated stability conditions. Full article
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Cyanocobalamin Ultraflexible Lipid Vesicles: Characterization and In Vitro Evaluation of Drug-Skin Depth Profiles
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030418 - 20 Mar 2021
Viewed by 345
Abstract
Atopic dermatitis (AD) and psoriasis are the most common chronic inflammatory skin disorders, which importantly affect the quality of life of patients who suffer them. Among other causes, nitric oxide has been reported as part of the triggering factors in the pathogenesis of [...] Read more.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) and psoriasis are the most common chronic inflammatory skin disorders, which importantly affect the quality of life of patients who suffer them. Among other causes, nitric oxide has been reported as part of the triggering factors in the pathogenesis of both conditions. Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) has shown efficacy as a nitric oxide scavenger and some clinical trials have given positive outcomes in its use for treating skin pathologies. Passive skin diffusion is possible only for drugs with low molecular weights and intermediate lipophilicity. Unfortunately, the molecular weight and hydrophilicity of vitamin B12 do not predict its effective diffusion through the skin. The aim of this work was to design new lipid vesicles to encapsulate the vitamin B12 to enhance its skin penetration. Nine prototypes of vesicles were generated and characterized in terms of size, polydispersity, surface charge, drug encapsulation, flexibility, and stability with positive results. Additionally, their ability to release the drug content in a controlled manner was demonstrated. Finally, we found that these lipid vesicle formulations facilitated the penetration of cyanocobalamin to the deeper layers of the skin. The present work shows a promising system to effectively administer vitamin B12 topically, which could be of interest in the treatment of skin diseases such as AD and psoriasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preclinical Evaluation of Lipid-Based Nanosystems)
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Buccal Resveratrol Delivery System as a Potential New Concept for the Periodontitis Treatment
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030417 - 20 Mar 2021
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Abstract
The health benefits of resveratrol have been proven to inhibit the development of numerous diseases. A frequent limitation in its use is a low bioavailability stemming from a poor solubility and fast enterohepatic metabolism. Thus, the aim of the research was to investigate [...] Read more.
The health benefits of resveratrol have been proven to inhibit the development of numerous diseases. A frequent limitation in its use is a low bioavailability stemming from a poor solubility and fast enterohepatic metabolism. Thus, the aim of the research was to investigate the possibility to formulate mucoadhesive cyclodextrin- and xanthan gum-based buccal tablets in order to increase the solubility of resveratrol and to eliminate bypass enterohepatic metabolism. Systems of resveratrol with α-cyclodextrin (α-CD), β-cyclodextrin (β-CD), γ-cyclodextrin (γ-CD) and 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) prepared by the dry mixing method (ratio 1:1) were selected for the of tablets where xanthan gum was used as a mucoadhesive agent. They were identified on the basis of PXRD, FT-IR analysis. Tablets F1 (with α-CD), F2 (with β-CD) and F3 (with γ-CD) were characterized by the highest compactibility as well as by favorable mucoadhesive properties. Resveratrol release from these tablets was delayed and controlled by diffusion. The tablets prepared in the course of this study appear to constitute promising resveratrol delivery systems and are recommended to increase the effectiveness of the treatment in many diseases, particularly periodontitis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fe3O4-Au Core-Shell Nanoparticles as a Multimodal Platform for In Vivo Imaging and Focused Photothermal Therapy
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030416 - 20 Mar 2021
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Abstract
In this study, we report the synthesis of gold-coated iron oxide nanoparticles capped with polyvinylpyrrolidone ([email protected] NPs). The as-synthesized nanoparticles (NPs) exhibited good stability in aqueous media and excellent features as contrast agents (CA) for both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and X-ray computed [...] Read more.
In this study, we report the synthesis of gold-coated iron oxide nanoparticles capped with polyvinylpyrrolidone ([email protected] NPs). The as-synthesized nanoparticles (NPs) exhibited good stability in aqueous media and excellent features as contrast agents (CA) for both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and X-ray computed tomography (CT). Additionally, due to the presence of the local surface plasmon resonances of gold, the NPs showed exploitable “light-to-heat” conversion ability in the near-infrared (NIR) region, a key attribute for effective photothermal therapies (PTT). In vitro experiments revealed biocompatibility as well as excellent efficiency in killing glioblastoma cells via PTT. The in vivo nontoxicity of the NPs was demonstrated using zebrafish embryos as an intermediate step between cells and rodent models. To warrant that an effective therapeutic dose was achieved inside the tumor, both intratumoral and intravenous routes were screened in rodent models by MRI and CT. The pharmacokinetics and biodistribution confirmed the multimodal imaging CA capabilities of the [email protected] and revealed constraints of the intravenous route for tumor targeting, dictating intratumoral administration for therapeutic applications. Finally, [email protected] NPs were successfully used for an in vivo proof of concept of imaging-guided focused PTT against glioblastoma multiforme in a mouse model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic and Functional Nanomaterials for Molecular Imaging)
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Open AccessArticle
Anticonvulsant Action of GluN2A-Preferring Antagonist PEAQX in Developing Rats
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030415 - 19 Mar 2021
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Abstract
The GluN2A subunit of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors becomes dominant during postnatal development, overgrowing the originally dominant GluN2B subunit. The aim of our study was to show changes of anticonvulsant action of the GluN2A subunit-preferring antagonist during postnatal development of rats. Possible anticonvulsant action [...] Read more.
The GluN2A subunit of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors becomes dominant during postnatal development, overgrowing the originally dominant GluN2B subunit. The aim of our study was to show changes of anticonvulsant action of the GluN2A subunit-preferring antagonist during postnatal development of rats. Possible anticonvulsant action of GluN2A-preferring antagonist of NMDA receptors P = [[[(1S)-1-(4-bromophenyl)ethyl]amino](1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-2,3-dioxo-5-quinoxalinyl)methyl]phosphonic acid tetrasodium salt (PEAQX) (5, 10, 20 mg/kg s.c.) was tested in 12-, 18-, and 25-day-old rats in three models of convulsive seizures. Pentylenetetrazol-induced generalized seizures with a loss of righting reflexes generated in the brainstem were suppressed in all three age groups in a dose-dependent manner. Minimal clonic seizures with preserved righting ability exhibited only moderately prolonged latency after the highest dose of PEAQX. Anticonvulsant action of all three doses of PEAQX against cortical epileptic afterdischarges (generated in the forebrain) was found in the 25-day-old animals. The highest dose (20 mg/kg) was efficient also in the two younger groups, which might be due to lower specificity of PEAQX and its partial affinity to the GluN2B subunit. Our results are in agreement with the postero-anterior maturation gradient of subunit composition of NMDA receptors (i.e., an increase of GluN2A representation). In spite of the lower selectivity of PEAQX, our data demonstrate, for the first time, developmental differences in comparison with an antagonist of NMDA receptors with a dominant GluN2B subunit. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Dexibuprofen Therapeutic Advances: Prodrugs and Nanotechnological Formulations
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030414 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 293
Abstract
S-(+) enantiomer of ibuprofen (IBU) dexibuprofen (DXI) is known to be more potent than its R-(−) form and exhibits many advantages over the racemic mixture of IBU such as lower toxicity, greater clinical efficacy, and lesser variability in therapeutic effects. Moreover, [...] Read more.
S-(+) enantiomer of ibuprofen (IBU) dexibuprofen (DXI) is known to be more potent than its R-(−) form and exhibits many advantages over the racemic mixture of IBU such as lower toxicity, greater clinical efficacy, and lesser variability in therapeutic effects. Moreover, DXI potential has been recently advocated to reduce cancer development and prevent the development of neurodegenerative diseases in addition to its anti-inflammatory properties. During the last decade, many attempts have been made to design novel formulations of DXI aimed at increasing its therapeutic benefits and minimizing the adverse effects. Therefore, this article summarizes pharmacological information about DXI, its pharmacokinetics, safety, and therapeutic outcomes. Moreover, modified DXI drug delivery approaches are extensively discussed. Recent studies of DXI prodrugs and novel DXI nanoformulations are analyzed as well as reviewing their efficacy for ocular, skin, and oral applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Micro/Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessReview
Current Pharmacological Intervention and Medical Management for Diabetic Kidney Transplant Recipients
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 413; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030413 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 288
Abstract
Hyperglycemia after kidney transplantation is common in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients. Both pretransplant and post-transplant diabetes mellitus are associated with increased kidney allograft failure and mortality. Glucose management may be challenging for kidney transplant recipients. The pathophysiology and pattern of hyperglycemia in [...] Read more.
Hyperglycemia after kidney transplantation is common in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients. Both pretransplant and post-transplant diabetes mellitus are associated with increased kidney allograft failure and mortality. Glucose management may be challenging for kidney transplant recipients. The pathophysiology and pattern of hyperglycemia in patients following kidney transplantation is different from those with type 2 diabetes mellitus. In patients with pre-existing and post-transplant diabetes mellitus, there is limited data on the management of hyperglycemia after kidney transplantation. The following article discusses the nomenclature and diagnosis of pre- and post-transplant diabetes mellitus, the impact of transplant-related hyperglycemia on patient and kidney allograft outcomes, risk factors and potential pathogenic mechanisms of hyperglycemia after kidney transplantation, glucose management before and after transplantation, and modalities for prevention of post-transplant diabetes mellitus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Pharmaceutics)
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Open AccessArticle
Stability Study of Cannabidiol in the Form of Solid Powder and Sunflower Oil Solution
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030412 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 378
Abstract
Stability studies represent an essential component of pharmaceutical development, enabling critical evaluation of the therapeutic potential of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) or a final pharmaceutical product under the influence of various environmental factors. The aim of the present study was to investigate [...] Read more.
Stability studies represent an essential component of pharmaceutical development, enabling critical evaluation of the therapeutic potential of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) or a final pharmaceutical product under the influence of various environmental factors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the chemical stability of cannabidiol (CBD) in the form of a solid powder (hereinafter referred to as CBD powder) and also dissolved in sunflower oil. We performed stress studies in accordance with the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) guidelines, where 5 mg of marketed CBD in the form of a solid powder and in form of oil solution were exposed for 7 and 14, 30, 60, 90, 180, 270, and 365 days to precisely defined temperature and humidity conditions, 25 °C ± 2 °C/60% RH ± 5% and 40 °C ± 2 °C/75% RH ± 5% in both open and closed vials in the dark. CBD powder was significantly more stable than CBD in oil solution. Such finding is important because CBD is often administered dissolved in oil matrix in practice due to very good bioavailability. Thus, the knowledge on admissible shelf time is of paramount importance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Analytical Framework to Assess the In Vitro Swallowability of Solid Oral Dosage Forms Targeting Patient Acceptability and Adherence
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030411 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 423
Abstract
A lack of effective intervention in addressing patient non-adherence and the acceptability of solid oral dosage forms combined with the clinical consequences of swallowing problems in an ageing world population highlight the need for developing methods to study the swallowability of tablets. Due [...] Read more.
A lack of effective intervention in addressing patient non-adherence and the acceptability of solid oral dosage forms combined with the clinical consequences of swallowing problems in an ageing world population highlight the need for developing methods to study the swallowability of tablets. Due to the absence of suitable techniques, this study developed various in vitro analytical tools to assess physical properties governing the swallowing process of tablets by mimicking static and dynamic stages of time-independent oral transitioning events. Non-anatomical models with oral mucosa-mimicking surfaces were developed to assess the swallowability of tablets; an SLA 3D printed in vitro oral apparatus derived the coefficient of sliding friction and a friction sledge for a modified tensometer measured the shear adhesion profile. Film coat hydration and in vitro wettability was evaluated using a high-speed recording camera that provided quantitative measurements of micro-thickness changes, simulating static in vivo tablet–mucosa oral processing stages with artificial saliva. In order to ascertain the discriminatory power and validate the multianalytical framework, a range of commonly available tablet coating solutions and new compositions developed in our lab were comparatively evaluated according to a quantitative swallowability index that describes the mathematical relationship between the critical physical forces governing swallowability. This study showed that the absence of a film coat significantly impeded the ease of tablet gliding properties and formed chalky residues caused by immediate tablet surface erosion. Novel gelatin- and λ-carrageenan-based film coats exhibited an enhanced lubricity, lesser resistance to tangential motion, and reduced stickiness than polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)–PEG graft copolymer, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), and PVA-coated tablets; however, Opadry® EZ possessed the lowest friction–adhesion profile at 1.53 a.u., with the lowest work of adhesion profile at 1.28 J/mm2. For the first time, the in vitro analytical framework in this study provides a fast, cost-effective, and repeatable swallowability ranking method to screen the in vitro swallowability of solid oral medicines in an effort to aid formulators and the pharmaceutical industry to develop easy-to-swallow formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimisation of Patient Centric Medicines for the Older Population)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Evaluation of Azelaic Acid Topical Microemulsion Formulation: In Vitro and In Vivo Study
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 410; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030410 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 254
Abstract
The aim of this study was to design oil in water (O/W) microemulsion formulations for the topical administration of azelaic acid. The permeability of azelaic acid through rat skin and the anti-inflammatory activities of the formulations were conducted to examine the efficacy of [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to design oil in water (O/W) microemulsion formulations for the topical administration of azelaic acid. The permeability of azelaic acid through rat skin and the anti-inflammatory activities of the formulations were conducted to examine the efficacy of the designed formulations. Skin irritation and stability tests were also performed. The permeability of azelaic acid was significantly increased by using O/W microemulsions as carriers. The edema index of ear swelling percentage was significantly recovered by the 5% drug-loaded formulation and a 20% commercial product, demonstrating that the experimental formulation possessed comparable effect with the commercial product on the improvement of inflammation. The experimental formulation did not cause significant skin irritation compared to the negative control group. Moreover, the drug-loaded formulation also showed thermodynamic stability and chemical stability after storage for 30 days. In conclusion, the O/W microemulsion was a potential drug delivery carrier for azelaic acid topical application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Characterization Methods for Drug Delivery Systems)
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Open AccessReview
Cyclodextrins in Antiviral Therapeutics and Vaccines
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030409 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 333
Abstract
The present review describes the various roles of cyclodextrins (CDs) in vaccines against viruses and in antiviral therapeutics. The first section describes the most commonly studied application of cyclodextrins—solubilisation and stabilisation of antiviral drugs; some examples also refer to their beneficial taste-masking activity. [...] Read more.
The present review describes the various roles of cyclodextrins (CDs) in vaccines against viruses and in antiviral therapeutics. The first section describes the most commonly studied application of cyclodextrins—solubilisation and stabilisation of antiviral drugs; some examples also refer to their beneficial taste-masking activity. The second part of the review describes the role of cyclodextrins in antiviral vaccine development and stabilisation, where they are employed as adjuvants and cryopreserving agents. In addition, cyclodextrin-based polymers as delivery systems for mRNA are currently under development. Lastly, the use of cyclodextrins as pharmaceutical active ingredients for the treatment of viral infections is explored. This new field of application is still taking its first steps. Nevertheless, promising results from the use of cyclodextrins as agents to treat other pathologies are encouraging. We present potential applications of the results reported in the literature and highlight the products that are already available on the market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Cyclodextrin Based Systems for Drug Delivery and Related Issues)
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Open AccessArticle
Anti-Inflammatory Effects of a Polyphenol, Catechin-7,4′-O-Digallate, from Woodfordia uniflora by Regulating NF-κB Signaling Pathway in Mouse Macrophages
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030408 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 290
Abstract
Inflammation is a defense mechanism that protects the body from infections. However, chronic inflammation causes damage to body tissues. Thus, controlling inflammation and investigating anti-inflammatory mechanisms are keys to preventing and treating inflammatory diseases, such as sepsis and rheumatoid arthritis. In continuation with [...] Read more.
Inflammation is a defense mechanism that protects the body from infections. However, chronic inflammation causes damage to body tissues. Thus, controlling inflammation and investigating anti-inflammatory mechanisms are keys to preventing and treating inflammatory diseases, such as sepsis and rheumatoid arthritis. In continuation with our work related to the discovery of bioactive natural products, a polyphenol, catechin-7,4′-O-digallate (CDG), was isolated from Woodfordia uniflora, which has been used as a sedative and remedy for skin infections in the Dhofar region of Oman. Thus far, no study has reported the anti-inflammatory compounds derived from W. uniflora and the mechanisms underlying their action. To investigate the effects of CDG on the regulation of inflammation, we measured the reduction in nitric oxide (NO) production following CDG treatment in immortalized mouse Kupffer cells (ImKCs). CDG treatment inhibited NO production through the downregulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase expression in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated ImKCs. The anti-inflammatory effects of CDG were mediated via the inhibition of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) activation, an important inflammatory-response-associated signaling pathway. Moreover, CDG treatment has regulated the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6 and IL-1β. These results suggested the anti-inflammatory action of CDG in LPS-stimulated ImKCs. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Ionic Cross-Linking as a Strategy to Modulate the Properties of Oral Mucoadhesive Microparticles Based on Polysaccharide Blends
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030407 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 256
Abstract
Polymer blends of gellan gum (GG)/retrograded starch(RS) and GG/pectin (P) were cross-linked with calcium, aluminum, or both to prepare mucoadhesive microparticles as oral carriers of drugs or nano systems. Cross-linking with different cations promoted different effects on each blend, which can potentially be [...] Read more.
Polymer blends of gellan gum (GG)/retrograded starch(RS) and GG/pectin (P) were cross-linked with calcium, aluminum, or both to prepare mucoadhesive microparticles as oral carriers of drugs or nano systems. Cross-linking with different cations promoted different effects on each blend, which can potentially be explored as novel strategies for modulating physical–chemical and mucoadhesive properties of microparticles. Particles exhibited spherical shapes, diameters from 888 to 1764 µm, and span index values lower than 0.5. Blends of GG:P cross-linked with aluminum resulted in smaller particles than those obtained by calcium cross-linking. GG:RS particles exhibited larger sizes, but cross-linking this blend with calcium promoted diameter reduction. The uptake rates of acid medium were lower than phosphate buffer (pH 6.8), especially GG:RS based particles cross-linked with calcium. On the other hand, particles based on GG:P cross-linked with calcium absorbed the highest volume of acid medium. The percentage of systems erosion was higher in acid medium, but apparently occurred in the outermost layer of the particle. In pH 6.8, erosion was lower, but caused expressive swelling of the matrixes. Calcium cross-linking of GG:RS promoted a significantly reduction on enzymatic degradation at both pH 1.2 and 6.8, which is a promising feature that can provide drug protection against premature degradation in the stomach. In contrast, GG:P microparticles cross-linked with calcium suffered high degradation at both pH values, an advantageous feature for quickly releasing drugs at different sites of the gastrointestinal tract. The high mucoadhesive ability of the microparticles was evidenced at both pH values, and the Freundlich parameters indicated stronger particle–mucin interactions at pH 6.8. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chondroitin Sulfate-Modified Liposomes for Targeted Co-Delivery of Doxorubicin and Retinoic Acid to Suppress Breast Cancer Lung Metastasis
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030406 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 250
Abstract
Breast cancer treatment remains challenging due to high levels of cell metastasis. Chemotherapy drug combinations can inhibit both tumor growth in situ and metastasis to distant organs. Therefore, here, we developed chondroitin sulfate liposomes (CSLs) as a carrier for the co-delivery of retinoic [...] Read more.
Breast cancer treatment remains challenging due to high levels of cell metastasis. Chemotherapy drug combinations can inhibit both tumor growth in situ and metastasis to distant organs. Therefore, here, we developed chondroitin sulfate liposomes (CSLs) as a carrier for the co-delivery of retinoic acid (RA) and doxorubicin (DOX) and examined their efficiency in suppressing lung metastasis of breast cancer. CSLs were prepared using CS–deoxycholic acid conjugates and found to encapsulate both RA and DOX via hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions. The resulting DOX+RA-CSLs were uniformly spherical and showed good serum stability and encapsulation efficiency of 98.7% ± 1.3% for RA and 90.8% ± 2.9% for DOX. Pharmacodynamic experiments in vitro and in vivo also revealed that DOX+RA-CSLs had better anticancer and anti-metastatic activity than CS-free liposomes, single drug-loaded liposomes, and free drug solutions at the same dose (2 mg/kg DOX or RA). Our results suggest that this liposomal delivery system can effectively suppress lung metastasis of breast cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Delivery Systems for Combination Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle
Real-Time Positron Emission Tomography Evaluation of Topotecan Brain Kinetics after Ultrasound-Mediated Blood–Brain Barrier Permeability
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030405 - 18 Mar 2021
Viewed by 415
Abstract
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common primary adult brain malignancy with an extremely poor prognosis and a median survival of fewer than two years. A key reason for this high mortality is that the blood–brain barrier (BBB) significantly restricts systemically delivered therapeutics to [...] Read more.
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common primary adult brain malignancy with an extremely poor prognosis and a median survival of fewer than two years. A key reason for this high mortality is that the blood–brain barrier (BBB) significantly restricts systemically delivered therapeutics to brain tumors. High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) with microbubbles is a methodology being used in clinical trials to noninvasively permeabilize the BBB for systemic therapeutic delivery to GBM. Topotecan is a topoisomerase inhibitor used as a chemotherapeutic agent to treat ovarian and small cell lung cancer. Studies have suggested that topotecan can cross the BBB and can be used to treat brain metastases. However, pharmacokinetic data demonstrated that topotecan peak concentration in the brain extracellular fluid after systemic injection was ten times lower than in the blood, suggesting less than optimal BBB penetration by topotecan. We hypothesize that HIFU with microbubbles treatment can open the BBB and significantly increase topotecan concentration in the brain. We radiolabeled topotecan with 11C and acquired static and dynamic positron emission tomography (PET) scans to quantify [11C] topotecan uptake in the brains of normal mice and mice after HIFU treatment. We found that HIFU treatments significantly increased [11C] topotecan brain uptake. Moreover, kinetic analysis of the [11C] topotecan dynamic PET data demonstrated a substantial increase in [11C] topotecan volume of distribution in the brain. Furthermore, we found a decrease in [11C] topotecan brain clearance, confirming the potential of HIFU to aid in the delivery of topotecan through the BBB. This opens the potential clinical application of [11C] topotecan as a tool to predict topotecan loco-regional brain concentration in patients with GBMs undergoing experimental HIFU treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Delivery to Brain Tumors)
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