Next Issue
Volume 13, February
Previous Issue
Volume 12, December

Pharmaceutics, Volume 13, Issue 1 (January 2021) – 126 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): There have been significant advancements in the design, development, and formulation of cocrystals in order to utilize their physicochemical, mechanical, and biopharmaceutical properties. However, manufacturing cocrystal products on an industrial scale continues to remain a challenge. Once the cocrystal is prepared, steps involved in transitioning a cocrystal into a solid dosage form entail numerous unit operations. An undesired consequence of processing is the potential for the cocrystal to amorphize or dissociate into the parent molecules. In an effort to reduce the number of operations, simultaneous formation of cocrystal and granule is a pragmatic methodology in the pharmaceutical industry. View this paper.
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
Anionic Complex with Efficient Expression and Good Safety Profile for mRNA Delivery
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 126; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010126 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 399
Abstract
We previously found that a complex comprising plasmid DNA (pDNA), polyethylenimine (PEI), and γ-polyglutamic acid (γ-PGA) had high transgene efficiency without cytotoxicity in vitro and in vivo. However, messenger RNA (mRNA) remains an attractive alternative to pDNA. In this study, we developed a [...] Read more.
We previously found that a complex comprising plasmid DNA (pDNA), polyethylenimine (PEI), and γ-polyglutamic acid (γ-PGA) had high transgene efficiency without cytotoxicity in vitro and in vivo. However, messenger RNA (mRNA) remains an attractive alternative to pDNA. In this study, we developed a safe and effective delivery system for mRNA to prevent its degradation and efficiently deliver it into target cells. Various cationic and anionic complexes were produced containing PEI, γ-PGA, and an mRNA encoding firefly luciferase. Their physicochemical properties and cytotoxicities were analyzed and the in vitro and in vivo protein expression were determined. The cationic mRNA/PEI complex showed high in vitro protein expression with strong cytotoxicity. The anionic complex was constructed as mRNA/PEI8/γ-PGA12 complex with a theoretical charge ratio of 1:8:12 based on the phosphate groups of the mRNA, nitrogen groups of PEI, and carboxylate groups of γ-PGA. It was stable and showed high in vitro protein expression without cytotoxicity. After intravenous administration of mRNA/PEI8/γ-PGA12 complex to mice, high protein expression was observed in the spleen and liver and slight expression was observed in the lung over 24 h. Thus, the newly constructed mRNA/PEI8/γ-PGA12 complex provides a safe and effective strategy for the delivery of mRNA. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Assessments of the In Vitro and In Vivo Linker Stability and Catabolic Fate for the Ortho Hydroxy-Protected Aryl Sulfate Linker by Immuno-Affinity Capture Liquid Chromatography Quadrupole Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometric Assay
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 125; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010125 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 416
Abstract
Antibody–drug conjugate (ADC) linkers play an important role in determining the safety and efficacy of ADC. The Ortho Hydroxy-Protected Aryl Sulfate (OHPAS) linker is a newly developed linker in the form of a di-aryl sulfate structure consisting of phenolic payload and self-immolative group [...] Read more.
Antibody–drug conjugate (ADC) linkers play an important role in determining the safety and efficacy of ADC. The Ortho Hydroxy-Protected Aryl Sulfate (OHPAS) linker is a newly developed linker in the form of a di-aryl sulfate structure consisting of phenolic payload and self-immolative group (SIG). In this study, using two bioanalytical approaches (namely “bottom-up” and “middle-up” approaches) via the liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometric (LC-qTOF-MS) method, in vitro and in vivo linker stability experiments were conducted for the OHPAS linker. For comparison, the valine-citrulline-p-aminobenzyloxycarbonyl (VC-PABC) linker was also evaluated under the same experimental conditions. In addition, the catabolite identification experiments at the subunit intact protein level were simultaneously performed to evaluate the catabolic fate of ADCs. As a result, the OHPAS linker was stable in the in vitro mouse/human plasma as well as in vivo pharmacokinetic studies in mice, whereas the VC-PABC linker was relatively unstable in mice in vitro and in vivo. This is because the VC-PABC linker was sensitive to a hydrolytic enzyme called carboxylesterase 1c (Ces1c) in mouse plasma. In conclusion, the OHPAS linker appears to be a good linker for ADC, and further experiments would be warranted to demonstrate the efficacy and toxicity related to the OHPAS linker. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibody–Drug Conjugates (ADC))
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Potential Herb–Drug Interactions in the Management of Age-Related Cognitive Dysfunction
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 124; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010124 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1012
Abstract
Late-life mild cognitive impairment and dementia represent a significant burden on healthcare systems and a unique challenge to medicine due to the currently limited treatment options. Plant phytochemicals have been considered in alternative, or complementary, prevention and treatment strategies. Herbals are consumed as [...] Read more.
Late-life mild cognitive impairment and dementia represent a significant burden on healthcare systems and a unique challenge to medicine due to the currently limited treatment options. Plant phytochemicals have been considered in alternative, or complementary, prevention and treatment strategies. Herbals are consumed as such, or as food supplements, whose consumption has recently increased. However, these products are not exempt from adverse effects and pharmacological interactions, presenting a special risk in aged, polymedicated individuals. Understanding pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions is warranted to avoid undesirable adverse drug reactions, which may result in unwanted side-effects or therapeutic failure. The present study reviews the potential interactions between selected bioactive compounds (170) used by seniors for cognitive enhancement and representative drugs of 10 pharmacotherapeutic classes commonly prescribed to the middle-aged adults, often multimorbid and polymedicated, to anticipate and prevent risks arising from their co-administration. A literature review was conducted to identify mutual targets affected (inhibition/induction/substrate), the frequency of which was taken as a measure of potential interaction. Although a limited number of drugs were studied, from this work, interaction with other drugs affecting the same targets may be anticipated and prevented, constituting a valuable tool for healthcare professionals in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacokinetic Drug-Drug Interactions and Herb-Drug Interactions)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Quantitative Cryo-TEM Reveals New Structural Details of Doxil-Like PEGylated Liposomal Doxorubicin Formulation
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 123; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010123 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 396
Abstract
Nano-drugs based on nanoparticles (NP) or on nano-assemblies as carriers of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) are often expected to perform better compared to conventional dosage forms. Maximum realization of this potential though requires optimization of multiple physico-chemical, including structural and morphological, parameters. [...] Read more.
Nano-drugs based on nanoparticles (NP) or on nano-assemblies as carriers of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) are often expected to perform better compared to conventional dosage forms. Maximum realization of this potential though requires optimization of multiple physico-chemical, including structural and morphological, parameters. Meaningful distributions of these parameters derived from sufficient populations of individual NPs rather than ensemble distributions are desirable for this task, provided that relevant high-resolution data is available. In this study we demonstrate powerful capabilities of the up-to-date cryogenic transmission electron-microscopy (cryo-TEM) as well as correlations with other techniques abundant in the nano-research milieu. We explored Doxil®-like (an anticancer drug and the first FDA-approved nano-drug) (75–100 nm) PEGylated liposomes encapsulating single doxorubicin-sulfate nano-rod-crystals (PLD). These crystals induce liposome sphere-to-ellipsoid deformation. Doxil® was characterized by a multitude of physicochemical methods. We demonstrate, that accompanied by advanced image-analysis means, cryo-TEM can successfully enable the determination of multiple structural parameters of such complex liposomal nano-drugs with an added value of statistically-sound distributions. The latter could not be achieved by most other physicochemical approaches. It seems that cryo-TEM is capable of quantitative description of individual liposome morphological features, including meaningful distributions of all structural elements, with averages that correlate with other physical methods. Here it is demonstrated that such quantitative cryo-TEM analysis is a powerful tool in determining what is the optimal drug to lipid ratio in PLD, which is found to be the drug to lipid ratio existing in Doxil®. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Micro and Nano Systems for the Drug Delivery)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Unlocking the Power of Exosomes for Crossing Biological Barriers in Drug Delivery
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 122; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010122 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 822
Abstract
Since the 2013 Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery of vesicle trafficking, a subgroup of nanovesicles called exosomes has been driving the research field to a new regime for understanding cellular communication. This exosome-dominated traffic control system has increased understanding of many [...] Read more.
Since the 2013 Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery of vesicle trafficking, a subgroup of nanovesicles called exosomes has been driving the research field to a new regime for understanding cellular communication. This exosome-dominated traffic control system has increased understanding of many diseases, including cancer metastasis, diabetes, and HIV. In addition to the important diagnostic role, exosomes are particularly attractive for drug delivery, due to their distinctive properties in cellular information transfer and uptake. Compared to viral and non-viral synthetic systems, the natural, cell-derived exosomes exhibit intrinsic payload and bioavailability. Most importantly, exosomes easily cross biological barriers, obstacles that continue to challenge other drug delivery nanoparticle systems. Recent emerging studies have shown numerous critical roles of exosomes in many biological barriers, including the blood–brain barrier (BBB), blood–cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCSFB), blood–lymph barrier (BlyB), blood–air barrier (BAB), stromal barrier (SB), blood–labyrinth barrier (BLaB), blood–retinal barrier (BRB), and placental barrier (PB), which opens exciting new possibilities for using exosomes as the delivery platform. However, the systematic reviews summarizing such discoveries are still limited. This review covers state-of-the-art exosome research on crossing several important biological barriers with a focus on the current, accepted models used to explain the mechanisms of barrier crossing, including tight junctions. The potential to design and engineer exosomes to enhance delivery efficacy, leading to future applications in precision medicine and immunotherapy, is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Barriers in Health and Disease)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessErratum
Erratum: Sanz del Olmo, N.; et al. Antioxidant and Antibacterial Properties of Carbosilane Dendrimers Functionalized with Polyphenolic Moieties. Pharmaceutics 2020, 12, 698
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 121; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010121 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 178
Abstract
Due to an error during production, in [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dendrimers and Dendritic Materials against Infectious Diseases)
Open AccessArticle
A Potential Alternative Orodispersible Formulation to Prednisolone Sodium Phosphate Orally Disintegrating Tablets
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 120; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010120 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 481
Abstract
The orally disintegrating tablet (ODT) has shown vast potential as an alternative oral dosage form to conventional tablets wherein they can disintegrate rapidly (≤30 s) upon contact with saliva fluid and should have an acceptable mouthfeel as long as their weight doesn’t exceed [...] Read more.
The orally disintegrating tablet (ODT) has shown vast potential as an alternative oral dosage form to conventional tablets wherein they can disintegrate rapidly (≤30 s) upon contact with saliva fluid and should have an acceptable mouthfeel as long as their weight doesn’t exceed 500 mg. However, owing to the bitterness of several active ingredients, there is a need to find a suitable alternative to ODTs that maintains their features and can be taste-masked more simply and inexpensively. Therefore, electrospun nanofibers and solvent-cast oral dispersible films (ODFs) are used in this study as potential OD formulations for prednisolone sodium phosphate (PSP) that is commercially available as ODTs. The encapsulation efficiency (EE%) of the ODFs was higher (≈100%) compared to the nanofibers (≈87%), while the disintegration time was considerably faster for the electrospun nanofibers (≈30 s) than the solvent-cast ODFs (≈700 s). Hence, accelerated release rate of PSP from the nanofibers was obtained, due to their higher surface area and characteristic surface morphology that permitted higher wettability and thus, faster erosion. Taste-assessment study using the electronic-tongue quantified the bitterness threshold of the drug and its aversiveness concentration (2.79 mM). Therefore, a taste-masking strategy would be useful when further formulating PSP as an OD formulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Drug Delivery and Controlled Release)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Lipid Handling and Phase Distribution on the Acoustic Behavior of Microbubbles
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 119; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010119 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 455
Abstract
Phospholipid-coated microbubbles are ultrasound contrast agents that can be employed for ultrasound molecular imaging and drug delivery. For safe and effective implementation, microbubbles must respond uniformly and predictably to ultrasound. Therefore, we investigated how lipid handling and phase distribution affected the variability in [...] Read more.
Phospholipid-coated microbubbles are ultrasound contrast agents that can be employed for ultrasound molecular imaging and drug delivery. For safe and effective implementation, microbubbles must respond uniformly and predictably to ultrasound. Therefore, we investigated how lipid handling and phase distribution affected the variability in the acoustic behavior of microbubbles. Cholesterol was used to modify the lateral molecular packing of 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC)-based microbubbles. To assess the effect of lipid handling, microbubbles were produced by a direct method, i.e., lipids directly dispersed in an aqueous medium or indirect method, i.e., lipids first dissolved in an organic solvent. The lipid phase and ligand distribution in the microbubble coating were investigated using confocal microscopy, and the acoustic response was recorded with the Brandaris 128 ultra-high-speed camera. In microbubbles with 12 mol% cholesterol, the lipids were miscible and all in the same phase, which resulted in more buckle formation, lower shell elasticity and higher shell viscosity. Indirect DSPC microbubbles had a more uniform response to ultrasound than direct DSPC and indirect DSPC-cholesterol microbubbles. The difference in lipid handling between direct and indirect DSPC microbubbles significantly affected the acoustic behavior. Indirect DSPC microbubbles are the most promising candidate for ultrasound molecular imaging and drug delivery applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preclinical Evaluation of Lipid-Based Nanosystems)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Physicochemical Characterization of a Co-Amorphous Atorvastatin-Irbesartan System with a Potential Application in Fixed-Dose Combination Therapy
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 118; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010118 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 378
Abstract
The aim of this study was to characterize a 1:1 molar ratio of a pharmacologically relevant co-amorphous atorvastatin-irbesartan (ATR-IRB) system obtained by quench cooling of the crystalline ATR/IRB physical mixture for potential use in the fixed-dose combination therapy. The system was characterized by [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to characterize a 1:1 molar ratio of a pharmacologically relevant co-amorphous atorvastatin-irbesartan (ATR-IRB) system obtained by quench cooling of the crystalline ATR/IRB physical mixture for potential use in the fixed-dose combination therapy. The system was characterized by employing standard differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and intrinsic dissolution rate studies. Quantum mechanical calculations were performed to obtain information regarding intermolecular interactions in the studied co-amorphous ATR-IRB system. The co-amorphous formulation showed a significant improvement in the intrinsic dissolution rate (IDR) of IRB over pure crystalline as well as its amorphous counterpart. An unusual behavior was observed for ATR, as the IDR of ATR in the co-amorphous formulation was slightly lower than that of amorphous ATR alone. Short-term physical aging studies of up to 8 h proved that the ATR-IRB co-amorphous system remained in the amorphous form. Furthermore, no physical aging occurred in the co-amorphous system. FT-IR, density functional theory calculations, and analysis of Tg value of co-amorphous system using the Couchman–Karasz equation revealed the presence of molecular interactions between APIs, which may contribute to the increased physical stability. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Mucoadhesive Poloxamer-Based Hydrogels for the Release of HP-β-CD-Complexed Dexamethasone in the Treatment of Buccal Diseases
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 117; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010117 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 309
Abstract
Oral lichen planus (OLP) is an ongoing and chronic inflammatory disease affecting the mucous membrane of the oral cavity. Currently, the treatment of choice consists in the direct application into the buccal cavity of semisolid formulations containing a corticosteroid molecule to decrease inflammatory [...] Read more.
Oral lichen planus (OLP) is an ongoing and chronic inflammatory disease affecting the mucous membrane of the oral cavity. Currently, the treatment of choice consists in the direct application into the buccal cavity of semisolid formulations containing a corticosteroid molecule to decrease inflammatory signs and symptoms. However, this administration route has shown various disadvantages limiting its clinical use and efficacy. Indeed, the frequency of application and the incorrect use of the preparation may lead to a poor efficacy and limit the treatment compliance. Furthermore, the saliva clearance and the mechanical stress present in the buccal cavity also involve a decrease in the mucosal exposure to the drug. In this context, the design of a new pharmaceutical formulation, containing a steroidal anti-inflammatory, mucoadhesive, sprayable and exhibiting a sustained and controlled release seems to be suitable to overcome the main limitations of the existing pharmaceutical dosage forms. The present work reports the formulation, optimization and evaluation of the mucoadhesive and release properties of a poloxamer 407 thermosensitive hydrogel containing a poorly water-soluble corticosteroid, dexamethasone acetate (DMA), threaded into hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) molecules. Firstly, physicochemical properties were assessed to ensure suitable complexation of DMA into HP-β-CD cavities. Then, rheological properties, in the presence and absence of various mucoadhesive agents, were determined and optimized. The hydration ratio (0.218–0.191), the poloxamer 407 (15–17 wt%) percentage and liquid-cyclodextrin state were optimized as a function of the gelation transition temperature, viscoelastic behavior and dynamic flow viscosity. Deformation and resistance properties were evaluated in the presence of various mucoadhesive compounds, being the sodium alginate and xanthan gum the most suitable to improve adhesion and mucoadhesion properties. Xanthan gum was shown as the best agent prolonging the hydrogel retention time up to 45 min. Furthermore, xanthan gum has been found as a relevant polymer matrix controlling drug release by diffusion and swelling processes in order to achieve therapeutic concentration for prolonged periods of time. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Lipophilic Peptide Dendrimers for Delivery of Splice-Switching Oligonucleotides
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 116; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010116 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 714
Abstract
Non-viral transfection reagents are continuously being developed in attempt to replace viral vectors. Among those non-viral vectors, dendrimers have gained increasing interest due to their unique molecular structure and multivalency. However, more improvements are still needed to achieve higher efficacy and lower toxicity. [...] Read more.
Non-viral transfection reagents are continuously being developed in attempt to replace viral vectors. Among those non-viral vectors, dendrimers have gained increasing interest due to their unique molecular structure and multivalency. However, more improvements are still needed to achieve higher efficacy and lower toxicity. In this study, we have examined 18 peptide dendrimers conjugated to lipophilic moieties, such as fatty acids or hydrophobic amino acids, that were previously explored for siRNA. Reporter cells were employed to investigate the transfection of single strand splice-switching oligonucleotides (ONs) using these peptide dendrimers. Luciferase level changes reflecting efficiency varied with amino acid composition, stereochemistry, and complexation media used. 3rd generation peptide dendrimers with D-amino acid configuration were superior to L-form. Lead formulations with 3rd generation, D-amino acid peptide dendrimers increased the correction level of the delivered ON up to 93-fold over untreated HeLa Luc/705 cells with minimal toxicity. To stabilize the formed complexes, Polyvinyl alcohol 18 (PVA18) polymer was added. Although PVA18 addition increased activity, toxicity when using our best candidates G 2,3KL-(Leu)4 (D) and G 2,3KL-diPalmitamide (D) was observed. Our findings demonstrate the potential of lipid-conjugated, D-amino acid-containing peptide dendrimers to be utilized as an effective and safe delivery vector for splice-switching ONs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipid- and/or Polymer-Based Drug Delivery Systems)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Suppression of Peritoneal Fibrosis by Sonoporation of Hepatocyte Growth Factor Gene-Encoding Plasmid DNA in Mice
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 115; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010115 - 18 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 343
Abstract
Gene therapy is expected to be used for the treatment of peritoneal fibrosis, which is a serious problem associated with long-term peritoneal dialysis. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a well-known anti-fibrotic gene. We developed an ultrasound and nanobubble-mediated (sonoporation) gene transfection system, which [...] Read more.
Gene therapy is expected to be used for the treatment of peritoneal fibrosis, which is a serious problem associated with long-term peritoneal dialysis. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a well-known anti-fibrotic gene. We developed an ultrasound and nanobubble-mediated (sonoporation) gene transfection system, which selectively targets peritoneal tissues. Thus, we attempted to treat peritoneal fibrosis by sonoporation-based human HGF (hHGF) gene transfection in mice. To prepare a model of peritoneal fibrosis, mice were intraperitoneally injected with chlorhexidine digluconate. We evaluated the preventive and curative effects of sonoporation-based hHGF transfection by analyzing the following factors: hydroxyproline level, peritoneum thickness, and the peritoneal equilibration test. The transgene expression characteristics of sonoporation were also evaluated using multicolor deep imaging. In early-stage fibrosis in mice, transgene expression by sonoporation was observed in the submesothelial layer. Sonoporation-based hHGF transfection showed not only a preventive effect but also a curative effect for early-stage peritoneal fibrosis. Sonoporation-based hHGF transfection may be suitable for the treatment of peritoneal fibrosis regarding the transfection characteristics of transgene expression in the peritoneum under fibrosis. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Complex Factors and Challenges that Affect the Pharmacology, Safety and Efficacy of Nanocarrier Drug Delivery Systems
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 114; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010114 - 17 Jan 2021
Viewed by 479
Abstract
Major developments in nanomedicines, such as nanoparticles (NPs), nanosomes, and conjugates, have revolutionized drug delivery capabilities over the past four decades. Although nanocarrier agents provide numerous advantages (e.g., greater solubility and duration of systemic exposure) compared to their small-molecule counterparts, there is considerable [...] Read more.
Major developments in nanomedicines, such as nanoparticles (NPs), nanosomes, and conjugates, have revolutionized drug delivery capabilities over the past four decades. Although nanocarrier agents provide numerous advantages (e.g., greater solubility and duration of systemic exposure) compared to their small-molecule counterparts, there is considerable inter-patient variability seen in the systemic disposition, tumor delivery and overall pharmacological effects (i.e., anti-tumor efficacy and unwanted toxicity) of NP agents. This review aims to provide a summary of fundamental factors that affect the disposition of NPs in the treatment of cancer and why they should be evaluated during preclinical and clinical development. Furthermore, this chapter will highlight some of the translational challenges associated with elements of NPs and how these issues can only be addressed by detailed and novel pharmacology studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Multiple-Monitor HPLC Assays for Rapid Process Development, In-Process Monitoring, and Validation of AAV Production and Purification
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 113; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010113 - 17 Jan 2021
Viewed by 526
Abstract
HPLC is established as a fast convenient analytical technology for characterizing the content of empty and full capsids in purified samples containing adeno-associated virus (AAV). UV-based monitoring unfortunately over-estimates the proportion of full capsids and offers little value for characterizing unpurified samples. The [...] Read more.
HPLC is established as a fast convenient analytical technology for characterizing the content of empty and full capsids in purified samples containing adeno-associated virus (AAV). UV-based monitoring unfortunately over-estimates the proportion of full capsids and offers little value for characterizing unpurified samples. The present study combines dual-wavelength UV monitoring with intrinsic fluorescence, extrinsic fluorescence, and light-scattering to extend the utility of HPLC for supporting development of therapeutic AAV-based drugs. Applications with anion exchange (AEC), cation exchange (CEC), and size exclusion chromatography (SEC) are presented. Intrinsic fluorescence increases sensitivity of AAV detection over UV and enables more objective estimation of empty and full capsid ratios by comparison of their respective peak areas. Light scattering enables identification of AAV capsids in complex samples, plus semiquantitative estimation of empty and full capsid ratios from relative peak areas of empty and full capsids. Extrinsic Picogreen fluorescence enables semiquantitative tracking of DNA with all HPLC methods at all stages of purification. It does not detect encapsidated DNA but reveals DNA associated principally with the exteriors of empty capsids. It also enables monitoring of host DNA contamination across chromatograms. These enhancements support many opportunities to improve characterization of raw materials and process intermediates, to accelerate process development, provide rapid in-process monitoring, and support process validation. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Fraxetin Suppresses Cell Proliferation and Induces Apoptosis through Mitochondria Dysfunction in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Lines Huh7 and Hep3B
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 112; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010112 - 17 Jan 2021
Viewed by 329
Abstract
Fraxetin is a coumarin scaffold compound extracted from Fraxinus rhynchophylla. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, and antifibrotic effects. Furthermore, fraxetin has anticancer effects in breast and lung cancer. We aimed to evaluate whether fraxetin has anticancer activity in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells [...] Read more.
Fraxetin is a coumarin scaffold compound extracted from Fraxinus rhynchophylla. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, and antifibrotic effects. Furthermore, fraxetin has anticancer effects in breast and lung cancer. We aimed to evaluate whether fraxetin has anticancer activity in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells and its underlying mechanism. We demonstrated the anticancer effects of fraxetin in the HCC cell lines Huh7 and Hep3B. We confirmed that fraxetin inhibited cell proliferation (42% ± 10% Huh7; 52% ± 7% Hep3B) by arresting the cell cycle and inducing apoptosis in both cell lines. Moreover, fraxetin increased reactive oxygen species production (221% ± 55% Huh7; 460% ± 73% Hep3B), depolarized the mitochondrial membranes (ΔΨm) (345% ± 160% Huh7; 462% ± 140% Hep3B), and disrupted calcium homeostasis in both HCC cell lines. Chelating calcium ions with BAPTA-AM restored proliferation in fraxetin-treated Huh7 cells but not in Hep3B cells. Fraxetin did not affect the phosphorylation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 1/2, whereas it decreased JNK and phosphoinositide 3-kinase signaling. Furthermore, fraxetin and mitogen-activated protein kinase pharmacological inhibitors had synergistic antiproliferative effects on HCC cells. Although our study was limited to in vitro data that require validation, we suggest that fraxetin is a potential therapeutic agent against HCC progression. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Improved Bioavailability and High Photostability of Methotrexate by Spray-Dried Surface-Attached Solid Dispersion with an Aqueous Medium
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 111; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010111 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 525
Abstract
Low aqueous solubility and poor bioavailability are major concerns in the development of oral solid-dosage drug forms. In this study, we fabricated surface-attached solid dispersion (SASD) to enhance the solubility, bioavailability, and photostability of methotrexate (MTX), a highly lipophilic and photo-unstable drug. Several [...] Read more.
Low aqueous solubility and poor bioavailability are major concerns in the development of oral solid-dosage drug forms. In this study, we fabricated surface-attached solid dispersion (SASD) to enhance the solubility, bioavailability, and photostability of methotrexate (MTX), a highly lipophilic and photo-unstable drug. Several MTX-loaded SASD formulations were developed for spray-drying using water as the solvent, and were investigated for their aqueous solubility and dissolution kinetics. An optimized ternary SASD formulation composed of MTX/ sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (Na-CMC)/sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) at 3/0.5/0.5 (w/w) had 31.78-fold and 1.88-fold higher solubility and dissolution, respectively, than MTX powder. For SASD, the in vivo pharmacokinetic parameters AUC and Cmax were 2.90- and 3.41-fold higher, respectively, than for the MTX powder. Solid-state characterizations by differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction revealed that MTX exists in its crystalline state within the spray-dried SASD. The MTX-loaded SASD formulation showed few physical changes with photostability testing. Overall, the results indicate that the spray-dried MTX-loaded SASD formulation without organic solvents enhances the solubility and oral bioavailability of MTX without a significant deterioration of its photochemical stability. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Seasonal Variations of Polyphenols Content, Sun Protection Factor and Antioxidant Activity of Two Lamiaceae Species
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 110; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010110 - 16 Jan 2021
Viewed by 312
Abstract
Secondary metabolite production by plants is influenced by external environmental factors that can change depending on the seasons, which makes it important to know how the plant, through its metabolism, is able to adapt to these variations. Mentha x villosa and Plectranthus [...] Read more.
Secondary metabolite production by plants is influenced by external environmental factors that can change depending on the seasons, which makes it important to know how the plant, through its metabolism, is able to adapt to these variations. Mentha x villosa and Plectranthus amboinicus present in their chemical composition polyphenols, and through previous studies, it has been seen that these two species present promising in vitro photoprotective activity. The aim of this study was to evaluate seasonal alterations in photoprotective and antioxidant activities and the influence of factors such as precipitation levels and sun radiation incidence. Thus, polyphenol quantification, cromatographics (HPLC-DAD) and multivariate (PCA) analyses of extracts of the two species through twelve months were done. It was observed that the best months for photoprotective and antioxidant activities were September for M. villosa and July for P. amboinicus (SPF = 14.79). It was possible to conclude that solar radiation more clearly influences the production of phenolics and the increase of SPF in M. villosa, in addition to favoring the antioxidant activity of the two species, while precipitation seems to have no influence. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Hemocompatibility and Anticancer Potential of Poly(ε-Caprolactone) and Poly(3-Hydroxybutyrate) Microcarriers with Encapsulated Chrysin
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 109; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010109 - 16 Jan 2021
Viewed by 323
Abstract
In this work, novel chrysin-loaded poly(ε-caprolactone) and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) microcarriers were synthesized according to a modified oil-in-water single emulsion/solvent evaporation method, utilizing poly(vinyl alcohol) surfactant as stabilizer and dispersing agent for the emulsification, and were evaluated for their physico-chemical and morphological properties, [...] Read more.
In this work, novel chrysin-loaded poly(ε-caprolactone) and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) microcarriers were synthesized according to a modified oil-in-water single emulsion/solvent evaporation method, utilizing poly(vinyl alcohol) surfactant as stabilizer and dispersing agent for the emulsification, and were evaluated for their physico-chemical and morphological properties, loading capacity and entrapment efficiency and in vitro release of their load. The findings suggest that the novel micro-formulations possess a spherical and relatively wrinkled structure with sizes ranging between 2.4 and 24.7 µm and a highly negative surface charge with z-potential values between (−18.1)–(−14.1) mV. The entrapment efficiency of chrysin in the poly(ε-caprolactone) and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) microcarriers was estimated to be 58.10% and 43.63%, whereas the loading capacity was found to be 3.79% and 15.85%, respectively. The average release percentage of chrysin was estimated to be 23.10% and 18.01%, respectively. The novel micromaterials were further biologically evaluated for their hemolytic activity through hemocompatibility studies over a range of hematological parameters and cytoxicity against the epithelial human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB 231. The poly(ε-caprolactone) and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) microcarriers reached an IC50 value with an encapsulated chrysin content of 149.19 µM and 312.18 µM, respectively, and showed sufficient blood compatibility displaying significantly low (up to 2%) hemolytic percentages at concentrations between 5 and 500 µg·mL−1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microencapsulation for the Therapeutic Delivery of Drugs)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Ocular Drug Delivery to the Retina: Current Innovations and Future Perspectives
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 108; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010108 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 535
Abstract
Treatment options for retinal diseases, such as neovascular age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vascular disorders, have markedly expanded following the development of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor intravitreal injection methods. However, because intravitreal treatment requires monthly or bimonthly repeat injections to achieve [...] Read more.
Treatment options for retinal diseases, such as neovascular age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vascular disorders, have markedly expanded following the development of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor intravitreal injection methods. However, because intravitreal treatment requires monthly or bimonthly repeat injections to achieve optimal efficacy, recent investigations have focused on extended drug delivery systems to lengthen the treatment intervals in the long term. Dose escalation and increasing molecular weight of drugs, intravitreal implants and nanoparticles, hydrogels, combined systems, and port delivery systems are presently under preclinical and clinical investigations. In addition, less invasive techniques rather than intravitreal administration routes, such as topical, subconjunctival, suprachoroidal, subretinal, and trans-scleral, have been evaluated to reduce the treatment burden. Despite the latest advancements in the field of ophthalmic pharmacology, enhancing drug efficacy with high ocular bioavailability while avoiding systemic and local adverse effects is quite challenging. Consequently, despite the performance of numerous in vitro studies, only a few techniques have translated to clinical trials. This review discusses the recent developments in ocular drug delivery to the retina, the pharmacokinetics of intravitreal drugs, efforts to extend drug efficacy in the intraocular space, minimally invasive techniques for drug delivery to the retina, and future perspectives in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Drug Delivery: Present Innovations and Future Challenges)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Optimized 5-Fluorouridine Prodrug for Co-Loading with Doxorubicin in Clinically Relevant Liposomes
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 107; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010107 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 429
Abstract
Liposome-based drug delivery systems have allowed for better drug tolerability and longer circulation times but are often optimized for a single agent due to the inherent difficulty of co-encapsulating two drugs with differing chemical profiles. Here, we design and test a prodrug based [...] Read more.
Liposome-based drug delivery systems have allowed for better drug tolerability and longer circulation times but are often optimized for a single agent due to the inherent difficulty of co-encapsulating two drugs with differing chemical profiles. Here, we design and test a prodrug based on a ribosylated nucleoside form of 5-fluorouracil, 5-fluorouridine (5FUR), with the final purpose of co-encapsulation with doxorubicin (DOX) in liposomes. To improve the loading of 5FUR, we developed two 5FUR prodrugs that involved the conjugation of either one or three moieties of tryptophan (W) known respectively as, 5FUR−W and 5FUR−W3. 5FUR−W demonstrated greater chemical stability than 5FUR−W3 and allowed for improved loading with fewer possible byproducts from tryptophan hydrolysis. Varied drug ratios of 5FUR−W: DOX were encapsulated for in vivo testing in the highly aggressive 4T1 murine breast cancer model. A liposomal molar ratio of 2.5 5FUR−W: DOX achieved a 62.6% reduction in tumor size compared to the untreated control group and a 33% reduction compared to clinical doxorubicin liposomes in a proof-of-concept study to demonstrate the viability of the co-encapsulated liposomes. We believe that the new prodrug 5FUR−W demonstrates a prodrug design with clinical translatability by reducing the number of byproducts produced by the hydrolysis of tryptophan, while also allowing for loading flexibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Phenethyl Isothiocyanate-Containing Carbomer Gel for Use against Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 106; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010106 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 407
Abstract
It is currently estimated that one in every five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a common type of skin cancer that can develop due to the skin’s exposure to the sun. Herein, we prepared a [...] Read more.
It is currently estimated that one in every five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a common type of skin cancer that can develop due to the skin’s exposure to the sun. Herein, we prepared a topical gel containing 0.5% v/w phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) for the treatment of SCC. PEITC is a naturally occurring isothiocyanate that has been shown to have efficacy against various types of cancer in preclinical studies. We first incorporated PEITC into a carbomer gel. A uniform formulation was prepared, and its viscosity was appropriate for topical application. We then demonstrated the release of PEITC from the gel into and through a Strat-M skin-like membrane. Finally, the effects of the PEITC-containing gel were tested against SCC and normal keratinocytes skin cells in culture, and these results were compared to those obtained for free 5-fluoruracil (5-FU), a commonly used skin-cancer drug. Our results show that a homogeneous PEITC-containing topical gel can be prepared and used to kill SCC cells. Thus, our formulation may be useful for treating SCC in the clinic. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Red Blood Cell Membrane-Camouflaged Tedizolid Phosphate-Loaded PLGA Nanoparticles for Bacterial-Infection Therapy
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010099 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 451
Abstract
Multiple drug resistance (MDR) in bacterial infections is developed with the abuse of antibiotics, posing a severe threat to global health. Tedizolid phosphate (TR-701) is an efficient prodrug of tedizolid (TR-700) against gram-positive bacteria, including methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus [...] Read more.
Multiple drug resistance (MDR) in bacterial infections is developed with the abuse of antibiotics, posing a severe threat to global health. Tedizolid phosphate (TR-701) is an efficient prodrug of tedizolid (TR-700) against gram-positive bacteria, including methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Herein, a novel drug delivery system: Red blood cell membrane (RBCM) coated TR-701-loaded polylactic acid-glycolic acid copolymer (PLGA) nanoparticles (RBCM-PLGA-TR-701NPs, RPTR-701Ns) was proposed. The RPTR-701Ns possessed a double-layer core-shell structure with 192.50 ± 5.85 nm in size, an average encapsulation efficiency of 36.63% and a 48 h-sustained release in vitro. Superior bio-compatibility was confirmed with red blood cells (RBCs) and HEK 293 cells. Due to the RBCM coating, RPTR-701Ns on one hand significantly reduced phagocytosis by RAW 264.7 cells as compared to PTR-701Ns, showing an immune escape effect. On the other hand, RPTR-701Ns had an advanced exotoxins neutralization ability, which helped reduce the damage of MRSA exotoxins to RBCs by 17.13%. Furthermore, excellent in vivo bacteria elimination and promoted wound healing were observed of RPTR-701Ns with a MRSA-infected mice model without causing toxicity. In summary, the novel delivery system provides a synergistic antibacterial treatment of both sustained release and bacterial toxins absorption, facilitating the incorporation of TR-701 into modern nanotechnology. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Experimental and Computational Observations of Immunogenic Cobalt Porphyrin Lipid Bilayers: Nanodomain-Enhanced Antigen Association
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 98; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010098 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 333
Abstract
Cobalt porphyrin phospholipid (CoPoP) can incorporate within bilayers to enable non-covalent surface-display of antigens on liposomes by mixing with proteins bearing a polyhistidine tag (his-tag); however, the mechanisms for how this occurs are poorly understood. These were investigated using the his-tagged model antigen [...] Read more.
Cobalt porphyrin phospholipid (CoPoP) can incorporate within bilayers to enable non-covalent surface-display of antigens on liposomes by mixing with proteins bearing a polyhistidine tag (his-tag); however, the mechanisms for how this occurs are poorly understood. These were investigated using the his-tagged model antigen Pfs25, a protein antigen candidate for malaria transmission-blocking vaccines. Pfs25 was found to associate with the small molecule aquocobalamin, a form of vitamin B12 and a cobalt-containing corrin macrocycle, but without particle formation, enabling comparative assessment. Relative to CoPoP liposomes, binding and serum stability studies indicated a weaker association of Pfs25 to aquocobalamin or cobalt nitrilotriacetic acid (Co-NTA) liposomes, which have cobalt displayed in the aqueous phase on lipid headgroups. Antigen internalization by macrophages was enhanced with Pfs25 bound to CoPoP liposomes. Immunization in mice with Pfs25 bound to CoPoP liposomes elicited antibodies that recognized ookinetes and showed transmission-reducing activity. To explore the physical mechanisms involved, we employed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of bilayers containing phospholipid, cholesterol, as well as either CoPoP or NTA-functionalized lipids. The results show that the CoPoP-containing bilayer creates nanodomains that allow access for a limited but sufficient amount of water molecules that could be replaced by his-tags due to their favorable free energy properties allowing for stabilization. The position of the metal center within the NTA liposomes was much more exposed to the aqueous environment, which could explain its limited capacity for stabilizing Pfs25. This study illustrates the impact of CoPoP-induced antigen particleization in enhancing vaccine efficacy, and provides molecular insights into the CoPoP bilayer properties that enable this. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liposomes for Vaccine Delivery)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Amorphous Solid Dispersions and the Contribution of Nanoparticles to In Vitro Dissolution and In Vivo Testing: Niclosamide as a Case Study
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 97; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010097 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 473
Abstract
We developed an amorphous solid dispersion (ASD) of the poorly water-soluble molecule niclosamide that achieved a more than two-fold increase in bioavailability. Notably, this niclosamide ASD formulation increased the apparent drug solubility about 60-fold relative to the crystalline material due to the generation [...] Read more.
We developed an amorphous solid dispersion (ASD) of the poorly water-soluble molecule niclosamide that achieved a more than two-fold increase in bioavailability. Notably, this niclosamide ASD formulation increased the apparent drug solubility about 60-fold relative to the crystalline material due to the generation of nanoparticles. Niclosamide is a weakly acidic drug, Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS) class II, and a poor glass former with low bioavailability in vivo. Hot-melt extrusion is a high-throughput manufacturing method commonly used in the development of ASDs for increasing the apparent solubility and bioavailability of poorly water-soluble compounds. We utilized the polymer poly(1-vinylpyrrolidone-co-vinyl acetate) (PVP–VA) to manufacture niclosamide ASDs by extrusion. Samples were analyzed based on their microscopic and macroscopic behavior and their intermolecular interactions, using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray diffraction (XRD), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR), and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The niclosamide ASD generated nanoparticles with a mean particle size of about 100 nm in FaSSIF media. In a side-by-side diffusion test, these nanoparticles produced a four-fold increase in niclosamide diffusion. We successfully manufactured amorphous extrudates of the poor glass former niclosamide that showed remarkable in vitro dissolution and diffusion performance. These in vitro tests were translated to a rat model that also showed an increase in oral bioavailability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hot-Melt Extrusion: Applications in Pharmaceutics)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Review of Clinical Questions Submitted to Norwegian Drug Information Centres Concerning Administration and Dosage to Older Patients of Relevance to Patient-Centric Care
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 105; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010105 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 400
Abstract
Patient-centric care entails optimising healthcare provision to patients based on their perspective and opinion. It involves appropriate treatment at a reasonable cost and a focus on patient characteristics in the decision-making process to make it more personally useful. The optimisation of medicines in [...] Read more.
Patient-centric care entails optimising healthcare provision to patients based on their perspective and opinion. It involves appropriate treatment at a reasonable cost and a focus on patient characteristics in the decision-making process to make it more personally useful. The optimisation of medicines in the older population is a challenge due to physiological changes, comorbidity, and polypharmacy. Furthermore, patient-centric care is difficult to achieve due to the high proportion of patients with dementia and frailty. Decision support concerning the appropriateness of indication, formulation, dose, administration, co-prescribing, and length of treatment to older patients is frequently in demand. In the current study, we aimed to review clinical questions concerning administration and dosage to older patients of relevance to patient-centric care. We analysed questions concerning medicines to patients 65 years or older in the database of the network of Norwegian drug information centres from 2010 to 2020. The analysis included the distribution of drugs, diseases, and recurring topics among the questions. Through a Boolean search that combined the indexed categories of “older” and “administration and dosage”, we retrieved 84 question-answer pairs. Questions about psychotropic and cardiovascular drugs in relation to therapy, adverse drug reactions, and pharmacokinetics dominated, and more than 60% of the questions came from physicians. Topics relevant to patient-centric pharmacotherapy were drug withdrawal (10 questions), drug formulation (8 questions), drug initiation (8 questions), and switching drugs (5 questions). One question concerned drug withdrawal and switching, and one question drug formulation and switching. Answers provided decision support regarding appropriate formulations of drugs to patients with dementia who chew capsules or tablets, the use of parenteral administration in patients who refuse to take oral formulations, and the pharmacokinetics of transdermal or rectal drug administration. The results highlight the importance of including pharmacological factors in the assessment of the acceptability and appropriateness of oral and parenteral medicine to older patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimisation of Patient Centric Medicines for the Older Population)
Open AccessArticle
In Vivo Fluorescence Imaging of Passive Inflammation Site Accumulation of Liposomes via Intravenous Administration Focused on Their Surface Charge and PEG Modification
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 104; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010104 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 340
Abstract
Nanocarriers such as liposomes have been attracting attention as novel therapeutic methods for inflammatory autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis. The physicochemical properties of intravenously administered nanomedicines enable them to target inflamed tissues passively. However, few studies have attempted to [...] Read more.
Nanocarriers such as liposomes have been attracting attention as novel therapeutic methods for inflammatory autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis. The physicochemical properties of intravenously administered nanomedicines enable them to target inflamed tissues passively. However, few studies have attempted to determine the influences of nanoparticle surface characteristics on inflammation site accumulation. Here, we aimed to study the effects of polyethylene glycol (PEG) modification and surface charge on liposome ability to accumulate in inflammatory sites and be uptake by macrophages. Four different liposome samples with different PEG modification and surface charge were prepared. Liposome accumulation in the inflammation sites of arthritis and ulcerative colitis model mice was evaluated by using in vivo imaging. There was greater PEG-modified than unmodified liposome accumulation at all inflammation sites. There was greater anionic than cationic liposome accumulation at all inflammation sites. The order in which inflammation site accumulation was confirmed was PEG-anionic > PEG-cationic > anionic > cationic. PEG-anionic liposomes had ~2.5× higher fluorescence intensity than PEG-cationic liposomes, and the PEG-liposomes had ~2× higher fluorescence intensity than non-PEG liposomes. All liposomes have not accumulated at the inflammation sites in healthy mice. Furthermore, cationic liposomes were taken up to ~10× greater extent by RAW264.7 murine macrophages. Thus, PEG-cationic liposomes that have the ability to accumulate in inflammatory sites via intravenous administration and to be taken up by macrophages could be useful. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeted Drug Delivery for Inflammation Treatment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Therapeutic Approaches for Metastases from Colorectal Cancer and Pancreatic Ductal Carcinoma
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 103; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010103 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 398
Abstract
Metastasis is the process of dissemination of a tumor, whereby cells from the primary site dislodge and find their way to other tissues where secondary tumors establish. Metastasis is the primary cause of death related to cancer. This process warrants changes in original [...] Read more.
Metastasis is the process of dissemination of a tumor, whereby cells from the primary site dislodge and find their way to other tissues where secondary tumors establish. Metastasis is the primary cause of death related to cancer. This process warrants changes in original tumoral cells and their microenvironment to establish a metastatic niche. Traditionally, cancer therapy has focused on metastasis prevention by systematic treatments or direct surgical re-sectioning. However, metastasis can still occur. More recently, new therapies direct their attention to targeting cancer stem cells. As they propose, these cells could be the orchestrators of the metastatic niche. In this review, we describe conventional and novel developments in cancer therapeutics for liver and lung metastasis. We further discuss the resistance mechanisms of targeted therapy, the advantages, and disadvantages of diverse treatment approaches, and future novel strategies to enhance cancer prognosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Uptake of Polyelectrolyte Functionalized Upconversion Nanoparticles by Tau-Aggregated Neuron Cells
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 102; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010102 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 378
Abstract
Tauopathy is the aggregation phenomenon of tau proteins and associated with neurodegenerative diseases. It metastasizes via the transfer of tau aggregates to adjacent neuron cells; however, the mechanism has not yet been fully understood. Moreover, if the materials used for designing drug delivery [...] Read more.
Tauopathy is the aggregation phenomenon of tau proteins and associated with neurodegenerative diseases. It metastasizes via the transfer of tau aggregates to adjacent neuron cells; however, the mechanism has not yet been fully understood. Moreover, if the materials used for designing drug delivery system to treat such neurodegenerative diseases do not undergo biodegradation or exocytosis but remains in cells or tissues, they raise concerns about their possible negative impacts. In this study, the uptake and delivery mechanisms of nano-sized carriers in tau aggregated neuron cells were investigated employing polyelectrolyte-functionalized upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) of diameter ~100 nm. Investigation through bioimaging was carried out by irradiating the particles with near-infrared light. Here, forskolin and okadaic acid were employed to induce tau aggregation into healthy neuron cells. It was noticed that the tau-aggregated neuron cells, when treated with relatively large sized UCNPs, showed uptake efficiency similar to that of normal neuron cells however their intracellular transport and exocytosis were impacted, and most of the carriers remained accumulated around lysosome. This demonstrates that metastasis mechanisms of tauopathy can get influenced by the size of carriers and are to be considered during their pharmacokinetic studies which is often not addressed in many drug delivery studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanoparticles for Delivery of Therapeutic Proteins)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessReview
Peptides and Dendrimers: How to Combat Viral and Bacterial Infections
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 101; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010101 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 391
Abstract
The alarming growth of antimicrobial resistance and recent viral pandemic events have enhanced the need for novel approaches through innovative agents that are mainly able to attach to the external layers of bacteria and viruses, causing permanent damage. Antimicrobial molecules are potent broad-spectrum [...] Read more.
The alarming growth of antimicrobial resistance and recent viral pandemic events have enhanced the need for novel approaches through innovative agents that are mainly able to attach to the external layers of bacteria and viruses, causing permanent damage. Antimicrobial molecules are potent broad-spectrum agents with a high potential as novel therapeutics. In this context, antimicrobial peptides, cell penetrating peptides, and antiviral peptides play a major role, and have been suggested as promising solutions. Furthermore, dendrimers are to be considered as suitable macromolecules for the development of advanced nanosystems that are able to complement the typical properties of dendrimers with those of peptides. This review focuses on the description of nanoplatforms constructed with peptides and dendrimers, and their applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dendrimers and Dendritic Materials against Infectious Diseases)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessReview
Delivery of Insulin via Skin Route for the Management of Diabetes Mellitus: Approaches for Breaching the Obstacles
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 100; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010100 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 404
Abstract
Insulin is used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, which is characterized by hyperglycemia. Subcutaneous injections are the standard mode of delivery for insulin therapy; however, this procedure is very often invasive, which hinders patient compliance, particularly for individuals requiring insulin doses four [...] Read more.
Insulin is used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, which is characterized by hyperglycemia. Subcutaneous injections are the standard mode of delivery for insulin therapy; however, this procedure is very often invasive, which hinders patient compliance, particularly for individuals requiring insulin doses four times a day. Furthermore, cases have been reported of sudden hypoglycemia occurrences following multidose insulin injections. Such an invasive and intensive approach motivates the quest for alternative, more user-friendly insulin administration approaches. For example, transdermal delivery has numerous advantages, such as prolonged drug release, low variability in the drug plasma level, and improved patient compliance. In this paper, the authors summarize different approaches used in transdermal insulin delivery, including microneedles, chemical permeation enhancers, sonophoresis, patches, electroporation, iontophoresis, vesicular formulations, microemulsions, nanoparticles, and microdermabrasion. Transdermal systems for insulin delivery are still being widely researched. The conclusions presented in this paper are extracted from the literature, notably, that the transdermal route could effectively and reliably deliver insulin into the circulatory system. Consistent progress in this area will ensure that some of the aforementioned transdermal insulin delivery systems will be introduced in clinical practice and commercially available in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skin and Formulation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop