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Pharmaceutics, Volume 13, Issue 7 (July 2021) – 183 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Topical treatment of wound infection is a challenge. Surfactants have been used for decades to improve the stability of formulations, increase drug solubility, and enhance penetration. In this study, we screened different surfactants with respect to their cytotoxicity and their ability to improve the penetration of poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) particles in wound tissue, as well as tested the most promising formulations in an ex vivo wound infection model based on human skin explants. The surfactants remarkably improved the antimicrobial activity of ciprofloxacin or ciprofloxacin-loaded PLGA particles. We conclude that the use of surfactants, such as Tween 80, in antimicrobial formulations might be a safe and efficient option to improve the topical antimicrobial management of chronic wound infections. View this paper
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Review
Pharmaceutical Formulations with P-Glycoprotein Inhibitory Effect as Promising Approaches for Enhancing Oral Drug Absorption and Bioavailability
by , and
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1103; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071103 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 848
Abstract
P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is crucial in the active transport of various substrates with diverse structures out of cells, resulting in poor intestinal permeation and limited bioavailability following oral administration. P-gp inhibitors, including small molecule drugs, natural constituents, and pharmaceutically inert excipients, have been exploited [...] Read more.
P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is crucial in the active transport of various substrates with diverse structures out of cells, resulting in poor intestinal permeation and limited bioavailability following oral administration. P-gp inhibitors, including small molecule drugs, natural constituents, and pharmaceutically inert excipients, have been exploited to overcome P-gp efflux and enhance the oral absorption and bioavailability of many P-gp substrates. The co-administration of small molecule P-gp inhibitors with P-gp substrates can result in drug–drug interactions and increased side effects due to the pharmacological activity of these molecules. On the other hand, pharmaceutically inert excipients, including polymers, surfactants, and lipid-based excipients, are safe, pharmaceutically acceptable, and are not absorbed from the gut. Notably, they can be incorporated in pharmaceutical formulations to enhance drug solubility, absorption, and bioavailability due to the formulation itself and the P-gp inhibitory effects of the excipients. Different formulations with inherent P-gp inhibitory activity have been developed. These include micelles, emulsions, liposomes, solid lipid nanoparticles, polymeric nanoparticles, microspheres, dendrimers, and solid dispersions. They can bypass P-gp by different mechanisms related to their properties. In this review, we briefly introduce P-gp and P-gp inhibitors, and we extensively summarize the current development of oral drug delivery systems that can bypass and inhibit P-gp to improve the oral absorption and bioavailability of P-gp substrates. Since many drugs are limited by P-gp-mediated efflux, this review is helpful for designing suitable formulations of P-gp substrates to enhance their oral absorption and bioavailability. Full article
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Review
Molecular Features of Classic Retinal Drugs, Retinal Therapeutic Targets and Emerging Treatments
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1102; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071102 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 520
Abstract
The management of exudative retinal diseases underwent a revolution due to the introduction of intravitreal treatments. There are two main classes of intravitreal drugs, namely anti-vascular endothelial growth factors (anti-VEGF) and corticosteroids molecules. The clinical course and the outcome of retinal diseases radically [...] Read more.
The management of exudative retinal diseases underwent a revolution due to the introduction of intravitreal treatments. There are two main classes of intravitreal drugs, namely anti-vascular endothelial growth factors (anti-VEGF) and corticosteroids molecules. The clinical course and the outcome of retinal diseases radically changed thanks to the efficacy of these molecules in determining the regression of the exudation and the restoration of the macular profile. In this review, we described the molecular features of classic retinal drugs, highlighting the main therapeutic targets, and we provided an overview of new emerging molecules. We performed a systematic review of the current literature available in the MEDLINE library, focusing on current intravitreal molecules and on new emerging therapies. The anti-VEGF molecules include Bevacizumab, Pegaptanib, Ranibizumab, Aflibercept, Conbercept, Brolucizumab, Abicipar-pegol and Faricimab. The corticosteroids approach is mainly based on the employment of triamcinolone acetonide, dexamethasone and fluocinolone acetonide molecules. Many clinical trials and real-life reports demonstrated their efficacy in exudative retinal diseases, highlighting differences in terms of molecular targeting and pharmacologic profiles. Furthermore, several new molecules are currently under investigation. Intravitreal drugs focus their activity on a wide range of therapeutic targets and are safe and efficacy in managing retinal diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Retinal Drug Delivery)
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Article
Application of Artificial Neural Networks to Predict the Intrinsic Solubility of Drug-Like Molecules
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1101; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071101 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 619
Abstract
Machine learning (ML) approaches are receiving increasing attention from pharmaceutical companies and regulatory agencies, given their ability to mine knowledge from available data. In drug discovery, for example, they are employed in quantitative structure–property relationship (QSPR) models to predict biological properties from the [...] Read more.
Machine learning (ML) approaches are receiving increasing attention from pharmaceutical companies and regulatory agencies, given their ability to mine knowledge from available data. In drug discovery, for example, they are employed in quantitative structure–property relationship (QSPR) models to predict biological properties from the chemical structure of a drug molecule. In this paper, following the Second Solubility Challenge (SC-2), a QSPR model based on artificial neural networks (ANNs) was built to predict the intrinsic solubility (logS0) of the 100-compound low-variance tight set and the 32-compound high-variance loose set provided by SC-2 as test datasets. First, a training dataset of 270 drug-like molecules with logS0 value experimentally determined was gathered from the literature. Then, a standard three-layer feed-forward neural network was defined by using 10 ChemGPS physico-chemical descriptors as input features. The developed ANN showed adequate predictive performances on both of the SC-2 test datasets. Benefits and limitations of ML approaches have been highlighted and discussed, starting from this case-study. The main findings confirmed that ML approaches are an attractive and promising tool to predict logS0; however, many aspects, such as data quality, molecular descriptor computation and selection, and assessment of applicability domain, are crucial but often neglected, and should be carefully considered to improve predictions based on ML. Full article
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Systematic Review
Factors Contributing to Medication Adherence in Patients with a Chronic Condition: A Scoping Review of Qualitative Research
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1100; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071100 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 983
Abstract
Introduction: Medication adherence continues to be a significant challenge in healthcare, and there is a shortage of effective interventions in this area. This scoping review studied the patient-related factors of medication adherence. Methods: We searched Medline Ovid, Scopus, and Cochrane Library from January [...] Read more.
Introduction: Medication adherence continues to be a significant challenge in healthcare, and there is a shortage of effective interventions in this area. This scoping review studied the patient-related factors of medication adherence. Methods: We searched Medline Ovid, Scopus, and Cochrane Library from January 2009 to June 2021 to find the most recent original qualitative studies or systematic reviews that addressed the patient-related factors of medication adherence in treating chronic conditions. We used the PRISMA-ScR checklist to ensure the quality of the study. Results: The initial search revealed 4404 studies, of which we included 89 qualitative studies in the scoping review. We inductively organized the patient-related factors causing barriers, as well as the facilitators to medication adherence. The studies more often dealt with barriers than facilitators. We classified the factors as patient-specific, illness-specific, medication-related, healthcare and system-related, sociocultural, as well as logistical and financial factors. Information and knowledge of diseases and their treatment, communication, trust in patient-provider relationships, support, and adequate resources appeared to be the critical facilitators in medication adherence from the patient perspective. Discussion and conclusions: Patients are willing to discuss their concerns about medications. Better communication and better information on medicines appear to be among the critical factors for patients. The findings of this scoping review may help those who plan further interventions to improve medication adherence. Full article
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Review
Cyclodextrin Multicomponent Complexes: Pharmaceutical Applications
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1099; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071099 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 579
Abstract
Cyclodextrins (CDs) are naturally available water-soluble cyclic oligosaccharides widely used as carriers in the pharmaceutical industry for their ability to modulate several properties of drugs through the formation of drug–CD complexes. The addition of an auxiliary substance when forming multicomponent complexes is an [...] Read more.
Cyclodextrins (CDs) are naturally available water-soluble cyclic oligosaccharides widely used as carriers in the pharmaceutical industry for their ability to modulate several properties of drugs through the formation of drug–CD complexes. The addition of an auxiliary substance when forming multicomponent complexes is an adequate strategy to enhance complexation efficiency and to facilitate the therapeutic applicability of different drugs. This review discusses multicomponent complexation using amino acids; organic acids and bases; and water-soluble polymers as auxiliary excipients. Special attention is given to improved properties by including information on the solubility, dissolution, permeation, stability and bioavailability of several relevant drugs. In addition, the use of multicomponent CD complexes to enhance therapeutic drug effects is summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyclodextrins in Drug Delivery)
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Article
Layer-by-Layer Nanoparticles of Tamoxifen and Resveratrol for Dual Drug Delivery System and Potential Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Treatment
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1098; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071098 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 817
Abstract
Nanoparticle development demonstrates use in various physicochemical, biological, and functional properties for biomedical applications, including anti-cancer applications. In the current study, a cancer therapeutic conjugate was produced consisting of tamoxifen (TAM) and resveratrol (RES) by layer-by-layer (LbL) nanoparticles based on lipid-based drug delivery [...] Read more.
Nanoparticle development demonstrates use in various physicochemical, biological, and functional properties for biomedical applications, including anti-cancer applications. In the current study, a cancer therapeutic conjugate was produced consisting of tamoxifen (TAM) and resveratrol (RES) by layer-by-layer (LbL) nanoparticles based on lipid-based drug delivery systems and liquid crystalline nanoparticles (LCNPs) coated with multiple layers of positively charged chitosan and negatively charged hyaluronic acid for the evaluation of biocompatibility and therapeutic properties against cancer cells. Multiple techniques characterized the synthesis of TAM/RES–LbL-LCNPs, such as Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray crystallography (XRD), Zeta potential analysis, particle size analysis, Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM), and Transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The in vitro cytotoxic effects of TAM/RES–LbL-LCNPs were investigated against human breast cancer cell line, Michigan Cancer Foundation-7 (MCF-7), and human triple-negative breast cancer cell line, Centre Antoine Lacassagne-51 (CAL-51), using various parameters. The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay confirmed that the treatment of cells with TAM/RES–LbL-LCNPs caused a reduction in cell proliferation, and no such inhibition was observed with human normal liver cell line: American Type Culture Collection Cell Line-48 (WRL-68 [ATCC CL-48]). Fluorescent microscopy examined the ability of Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) to bind to TAM/RES–LbL-LCNPs along with their cellular uptake. Apoptosis determination was performed using hematoxylin–eosin and acridine orange–propidium iodide double staining. The expression of P53 and caspase-8 was analyzed by flow cytometry analysis. An in vivo study determined the toxicity of TAM/RES–LbL-LCNPs in mice and assessed the functional marker changes in the liver and kidneys. No significant statistical differences were found for the tested indicators. TAM/RES–LbL-LCNP treatment showed no apparent damages or histopathological abnormalities in the heart, lung, liver, spleen, and kidney histological images. The current findings observed for the first time propose that TAM/RES–LbL-LCNPs provide a new and safer method to use phytochemicals in combinatorial therapy and provide a novel treatment approach against breast cancers. Full article
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Communication
Simplified 89Zr-Labeling Protocol of Oxine (8-Hydroxyquinoline) Enabling Prolonged Tracking of Liposome-Based Nanomedicines and Cells
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1097; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071097 - 18 Jul 2021
Viewed by 784
Abstract
In this work, a method for the preparation of the highly lipophilic labeling synthon [89Zr]Zr(oxinate)4 was optimized for the radiolabeling of liposomes and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). The aim was to establish a robust and reliable labeling protocol [...] Read more.
In this work, a method for the preparation of the highly lipophilic labeling synthon [89Zr]Zr(oxinate)4 was optimized for the radiolabeling of liposomes and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). The aim was to establish a robust and reliable labeling protocol for enabling up to one week positron emission tomography (PET) tracing of lipid-based nanomedicines and transplanted or injected cells, respectively. [89Zr]Zr(oxinate)4 was prepared from oxine (8-hydroxyquinoline) and [89Zr]Zr(OH)2(C2O4). Earlier introduced liquid–liquid extraction methods were simplified by the optimization of buffering, pH, temperature and reaction times. For quality control, thin-layer chromatography (TLC), size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) and centrifugation were employed. Subsequently, the 89Zr-complex was incorporated into liposome formulations. PET/CT imaging of 89Zr-labeled liposomes was performed in healthy mice. Cell labeling was accomplished in PBS using suspensions of 3 × 106 hiPSCs, each. [89Zr]Zr(oxinate)4 was synthesized in very high radiochemical yields of 98.7% (96.8% ± 2.8%). Similarly, high internalization rates (≥90%) of [89Zr]Zr(oxinate)4 into liposomes were obtained over an 18 h incubation period. MicroPET and biodistribution studies confirmed the labeled nanocarriers’ in vivo stability. Human iPSCs incorporated the labeling agent within 30 min with ~50% efficiency. Prolonged PET imaging is an ideal tool in the development of lipid-based nanocarriers for drug delivery and cell therapies. To this end, a reliable and reproducible 89Zr radiolabeling method was developed and tested successfully in a model liposome system and in hiPSCs alike. Full article
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Article
3D-Printed Mesoporous Carrier System for Delivery of Poorly Soluble Drugs
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1096; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071096 - 18 Jul 2021
Viewed by 785
Abstract
Fused deposition modelling (FDM) is the most extensively employed 3D-printing technique used in pharmaceutical applications, and offers fast and facile formulation development of personalized dosage forms. In the present study, mesoporous materials were incorporated into a thermoplastic filament produced via hot-melt extrusion and [...] Read more.
Fused deposition modelling (FDM) is the most extensively employed 3D-printing technique used in pharmaceutical applications, and offers fast and facile formulation development of personalized dosage forms. In the present study, mesoporous materials were incorporated into a thermoplastic filament produced via hot-melt extrusion and used to produce oral dosage forms via FDM. Mesoporous materials are known to be highly effective for the amorphization and stabilization of poorly soluble drugs, and were therefore studied in order to determine their ability to enhance the drug-release properties in 3D-printed tablets. Celecoxib was selected as the model poorly soluble drug, and was loaded into mesoporous silica (MCM-41) or mesoporous magnesium carbonate. In vitro drug release tests showed that the printed tablets produced up to 3.6 and 1.5 times higher drug concentrations, and up to 4.4 and 1.9 times higher release percentages, compared to the crystalline drug or the corresponding plain drug-loaded mesoporous materials, respectively. This novel approach utilizing drug-loaded mesoporous materials in a printed tablet via FDM shows great promise in achieving personalized oral dosage forms for poorly soluble drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Printed Pharmaceuticals in Future Healthcare)
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Article
Long-Term Oral Treatment with Non-Hypoglycemic Dose of Glibenclamide Reduces Diabetic Retinopathy Damage in the Goto-KakizakiRat Model
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1095; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071095 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 653
Abstract
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) remains a major cause of vision loss, due to macular edema, retinal ischemia and death of retinal neurons. We previously demonstrated that acute administration of glibenclamide into the vitreous, or given orally at a non-hypoglycemic dose, protected the structure and [...] Read more.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) remains a major cause of vision loss, due to macular edema, retinal ischemia and death of retinal neurons. We previously demonstrated that acute administration of glibenclamide into the vitreous, or given orally at a non-hypoglycemic dose, protected the structure and the function of the retina in three animal models that each mimic aspects of diabetic retinopathy in humans. In this pilot study, we investigated whether one year of chronic oral glibenclamide, in a non-hypoglycemic regimen (Amglidia®, 0.4 mg/kg, Ammtek/Nordic Pharma, 5 d/week), could alleviate the retinopathy that develops in the Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rat. In vivo, retinal function was assessed by electroretinography (ERG), retinal thickness by optical coherence tomography (OCT) and retinal perfusion by fluorescein and indocyanin green angiographies. The integrity of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) that constitutes the outer retinal barrier was evaluated by quantitative analysis of the RPE morphology on flat-mounted fundus ex vivo. Oral glibenclamide did not significantly reduce the Hb1Ac levels but still improved retinal function, as witnessed by the reduction in scotopic implicit times, limited diabetes-induced neuroretinal thickening and the extension of ischemic areas, and it improved the capillary coverage. These results indicate that low doses of oral glibenclamide could still be beneficial for the prevention of type 2 diabetic retinopathy. Whether the retinas ofpatients treated specifically with glibenclamideare less at risk of developing diabetic complications remains to be demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current and Future Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy)
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Article
Phosphatidylserine-Gold Nanoparticles (PS-AuNP) Induce Prostate and Breast Cancer Cell Apoptosis
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1094; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071094 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 761
Abstract
Prostate and breast cancer are the current leading causes of new cancer cases in males and females, respectively. Phosphatidylserine (PS) is an essential lipid that mediates macrophage efferocytosis and is dysregulated in tumors. Therefore, developing therapies that selectively restore PS may be a [...] Read more.
Prostate and breast cancer are the current leading causes of new cancer cases in males and females, respectively. Phosphatidylserine (PS) is an essential lipid that mediates macrophage efferocytosis and is dysregulated in tumors. Therefore, developing therapies that selectively restore PS may be a potential therapeutic approach for carcinogenesis. Among the nanomedicine strategies for delivering PS, biocompatible gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have an extensive track record in biomedical applications. In this study, we synthesized biomimetic phosphatidylserine-caped gold nanoparticles (PS-AuNPs) and tested their anticancer potential in breast and prostate cancer cells in vitro. We found that both cell lines exhibited changes in cell morphology indicative of apoptosis. After evaluating for histone-associated DNA fragments, a hallmark of apoptosis, we found significant increases in DNA fragmentation upon PS-AuNP treatment compared to the control treatment. These findings demonstrate the use of phosphatidylserine coupled with gold nanoparticles as a potential treatment for prostate and breast cancer. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a phosphatidylserine-capped AuNP has been examined for its therapeutic potential in cancer therapy. Full article
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Article
Screening of Surfactants for Improved Delivery of Antimicrobials and Poly-Lactic-co-Glycolic Acid Particles in Wound Tissue
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1093; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071093 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 716
Abstract
Topical wound management is often a challenge due to the poor penetration of antimicrobials in wound tissue and across the biofilm matrix where bacteria are embedded. Surfactants have been used for decades to improve the stability of formulations, increase drug solubility, and enhance [...] Read more.
Topical wound management is often a challenge due to the poor penetration of antimicrobials in wound tissue and across the biofilm matrix where bacteria are embedded. Surfactants have been used for decades to improve the stability of formulations, increase drug solubility, and enhance penetration. In this study, we screened different detergents with respect to their cytotoxicity and their ability to improve the penetration of poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) particles in wound tissue. Among the tested surfactants, Kolliphor SLS and Tween 80 increased the penetration of PLGA particles and had a limited cytotoxicity. Then, these surfactants were used to formulate PLGA particles loaded with the poorly water-soluble antibiotic ciprofloxacin. The antimicrobial efficacy of the formulations was tested in a wound infection model based on human ex vivo skin. We found that even though PLGA particles had the same antimicrobial efficiency than the particle-free drug formulation, thanks to their solubilizing and anti-biofilm properties, the surfactants remarkably improved the antimicrobial activity of ciprofloxacin with respect to the drug formulation in water. We conclude that the use of Tween 80 in antimicrobial formulations might be a safe and efficient option to improve the topical antimicrobial management of chronic wound infections. Full article
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Article
A Self-Assembling Amphiphilic Peptide Dendrimer-Based Drug Delivery System for Cancer Therapy
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1092; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071092 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 611
Abstract
Despite being a mainstay of clinical cancer treatment, chemotherapy is limited by its severe side effects and inherent or acquired drug resistance. Nanotechnology-based drug-delivery systems are widely expected to bring new hope for cancer therapy. These systems exploit the ability of nanomaterials to [...] Read more.
Despite being a mainstay of clinical cancer treatment, chemotherapy is limited by its severe side effects and inherent or acquired drug resistance. Nanotechnology-based drug-delivery systems are widely expected to bring new hope for cancer therapy. These systems exploit the ability of nanomaterials to accumulate and deliver anticancer drugs at the tumor site via the enhanced permeability and retention effect. Here, we established a novel drug-delivery nanosystem based on amphiphilic peptide dendrimers (AmPDs) composed of a hydrophobic alkyl chain and a hydrophilic polylysine dendron with different generations (AmPD KK2 and AmPD KK2K4). These AmPDs assembled into nanoassemblies for efficient encapsulation of the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin (DOX). The AmPDs/DOX nanoformulations improved the intracellular uptake and accumulation of DOX in drug-resistant breast cancer cells and increased permeation in 3D multicellular tumor spheroids in comparison with free DOX. Thus, they exerted effective anticancer activity while circumventing drug resistance in 2D and 3D breast cancer models. Interestingly, AmPD KK2 bearing a smaller peptide dendron encapsulated DOX to form more stable nanoparticles than AmPD KK2K4 bearing a larger peptide dendron, resulting in better cellular uptake, penetration, and anti-proliferative activity. This may be because AmPD KK2 maintains a better balance between hydrophobicity and hydrophilicity to achieve optimal self-assembly, thereby facilitating more stable drug encapsulation and efficient drug release. Together, our study provides a promising perspective on the design of the safe and efficient cancer drug-delivery nanosystems based on the self-assembling amphiphilic peptide dendrimer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug and Gene Delivery Nanoformulations against Cancer Hallmarks)
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Article
Timing of Novel Drug 1A-116 to Circadian Rhythms Improves Therapeutic Effects against Glioblastoma
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1091; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071091 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 761
Abstract
The Ras homologous family of small guanosine triphosphate-binding enzymes (GTPases) is critical for cell migration and proliferation. The novel drug 1A-116 blocks the interaction site of the Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (RAC1) GTPase with some of its guanine exchange factors (GEFs), [...] Read more.
The Ras homologous family of small guanosine triphosphate-binding enzymes (GTPases) is critical for cell migration and proliferation. The novel drug 1A-116 blocks the interaction site of the Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (RAC1) GTPase with some of its guanine exchange factors (GEFs), such as T-cell lymphoma invasion and metastasis 1 (TIAM1), inhibiting cell motility and proliferation. Knowledge of circadian regulation of targets can improve chemotherapy in glioblastoma. Thus, circadian regulation in the efficacy of 1A-116 was studied in LN229 human glioblastoma cells and tumor-bearing nude mice. Methods. Wild-type LN229 and BMAL1-deficient (i.e., lacking a functional circadian clock) LN229E1 cells were assessed for rhythms in TIAM1, BMAL1, and period circadian protein homolog 1 (PER1), as well as Tiam1, Bmal1, and Rac1 mRNA levels. The effects of 1A-116 on proliferation, apoptosis, and migration were then assessed upon applying the drug at different circadian times. Finally, 1A-116 was administered to tumor-bearing mice at two different circadian times. Results. In LN229 cells, circadian oscillations were found for BMAL1, PER1, and TIAM1 (mRNA and protein), and for the effects of 1A-116 on proliferation, apoptosis, and migration, which were abolished in LN229E1 cells. Increased survival time was observed in tumor-bearing mice when treated with 1A-116 at the end of the light period (zeitgeber time 12, ZT12) compared either to animals treated at the beginning (ZT3) or with vehicle. Conclusions. These results unveil the circadian modulation in the efficacy of 1A-116, likely through RAC1 pathway rhythmicity, suggesting that a chronopharmacological approach is a feasible strategy to improve glioblastoma treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronotherapy and Chronomodulated Drug Delivery)
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Article
Medicated Hydroxyapatite/Collagen Hybrid Scaffolds for Bone Regeneration and Local Antimicrobial Therapy to Prevent Bone Infections
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1090; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071090 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 543
Abstract
Microbial infections occurring during bone surgical treatment, the cause of osteomyelitis and implant failures, are still an open challenge in orthopedics. Conventional therapies are often ineffective and associated with serious side effects due to the amount of drugs administered by systemic routes. In [...] Read more.
Microbial infections occurring during bone surgical treatment, the cause of osteomyelitis and implant failures, are still an open challenge in orthopedics. Conventional therapies are often ineffective and associated with serious side effects due to the amount of drugs administered by systemic routes. In this study, a medicated osteoinductive and bioresorbable bone graft was designed and investigated for its ability to control antibiotic drug release in situ. This represents an ideal solution for the eradication or prevention of infection, while simultaneously repairing bone defects. Vancomycin hydrochloride and gentamicin sulfate, here considered for testing, were loaded into a previously developed and largely investigated hybrid bone-mimetic scaffold made of collagen fibers biomineralized with magnesium doped-hydroxyapatite (MgHA/Coll), which in the last ten years has widely demonstrated its effective potential in bone tissue regeneration. Here, we have explored whether it can be used as a controlled local delivery system for antibiotic drugs. An easy loading method was selected in order to be reproducible, quickly, in the operating room. The maintenance of the antibacterial efficiency of the released drugs and the biosafety of medicated scaffolds were assessed with microbiological and in vitro tests, which demonstrated that the MgHA/Coll scaffolds were safe and effective as a local delivery system for an extended duration therapy—promising results for the prevention of bone defect-related infections in orthopedic surgeries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing Approaches to Produce Drug Delivery Systems)
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Article
Liquid Lipids Act as Polymorphic Modifiers of Tristearin-Based Formulations Produced by Melting Technologies
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1089; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071089 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 639
Abstract
Despite the growing interest in lipid-based formulations, their polymorphism is still a challenge in the pharmaceutical industry. Understanding and controlling the polymorphic behavior of lipids is a key element for achieving the quality and preventing stability issues. This study aims to evaluate the [...] Read more.
Despite the growing interest in lipid-based formulations, their polymorphism is still a challenge in the pharmaceutical industry. Understanding and controlling the polymorphic behavior of lipids is a key element for achieving the quality and preventing stability issues. This study aims to evaluate the impact of different oral-approved liquid lipids (LL) on the polymorphism, phase transitions and structure of solid lipid-based formulations and explore their influence on drug release. The LL investigated were isopropyl myristate, ethyl oleate, oleic acid, medium chain trigycerides, vitamin E acetate, glyceryl monooleate, lecithin and sorbitane monooleate. Spray-congealing was selected as an example of a melting-based solvent-free manufacturing method to produce microparticles (MPs) of tristearin (Dynasan®118). During the production process, tristearin MPs crystallized in the metastable α-form. Stability studied evidenced a slow phase transition to the stable β-polymorph overtime, with the presence of the α-form still detected after 60 days of storage at 25 °C. The addition of 10% w/w of LL promoted the transition of tristearin from the α-form to the stable β-form with a kinetic varying from few minutes to days, depending on the specific LL. The combination of various techniques (DSC, X-ray diffraction analysis, Hot-stage polarized light microscopy, SEM) showed that the addition of LL significantly modified the crystal structure of tristearin-based formulations at different length scales. Both the polymorphic form and the LL addition had a strong influence on the release behavior of a model hydrophilic drug (caffeine). Overall, the addition of LL can be considered an interesting approach to control triglyceride crystallization in the β-form. From the industrial viewpoint, this approach might be advantageous as any polymorphic change will be complete before storage, hence enabling the production of stable lipid formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery in Italy)
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Review
Intranasal Administration for Pain: Oxytocin and Other Polypeptides
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1088; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071088 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 622
Abstract
Pain, particularly chronic pain, remains one of the most debilitating and difficult-to-treat conditions in medicine. Chronic pain is difficult to treat, in part because it is associated with plastic changes in the peripheral and central nervous systems. Polypeptides are linear organic polymers that [...] Read more.
Pain, particularly chronic pain, remains one of the most debilitating and difficult-to-treat conditions in medicine. Chronic pain is difficult to treat, in part because it is associated with plastic changes in the peripheral and central nervous systems. Polypeptides are linear organic polymers that are highly selective molecules for neurotransmitter and other nervous system receptors sites, including those associated with pain and analgesia, and so have tremendous potential in pain therapeutics. However, delivery of polypeptides to the nervous system is largely limited due to rapid degradation within the peripheral circulation as well as the blood–brain barrier. One strategy that has been shown to be successful in nervous system deposition of polypeptides is intranasal (IN) delivery. In this narrative review, we discuss the delivery of polypeptides to the peripheral and central nervous systems following IN administration. We briefly discuss the mechanism of delivery via the nasal–cerebral pathway. We review recent studies that demonstrate that polypeptides such as oxytocin, delivered IN, not only reach key pain-modulating regions in the nervous system but, in doing so, evoke significant analgesic effects. IN administration of polypeptides has tremendous potential to provide a non-invasive, rapid and effective method of delivery to the nervous system for chronic pain treatment and management. Full article
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Article
Formulation and Optimization of Butenafine-Loaded Topical Nano Lipid Carrier-Based Gel: Characterization, Irritation Study, and Anti-Fungal Activity
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1087; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071087 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 582
Abstract
The present study aims to prepare and optimize butenafine hydrochloride NLCs formulation using solid and liquid lipid. The optimized selected BF-NLCopt was further converted into Carbopol-based gel for topical application for the treatment of fungal infection. Box Behnken design was employed to optimize [...] Read more.
The present study aims to prepare and optimize butenafine hydrochloride NLCs formulation using solid and liquid lipid. The optimized selected BF-NLCopt was further converted into Carbopol-based gel for topical application for the treatment of fungal infection. Box Behnken design was employed to optimize the nanostructure lipids carriers (NLCs) using the lipid content (A), Tween 80 (B), and homogenization cycle (C) as formulation factors at three levels. Their effects were observed on the particle size (Y1) and entrapment efficiency (Y2). The selected formulation was converted into gel and further assessed for gel characterization, drug release, anti-fungal study, irritation study, and stability study. The solid lipid (Compritol 888 ATO), liquid lipid (Labrasol), and surfactant (tween 80) were selected based on maximum solubility. The optimization result showed a particle size of 111 nm with high entrapment efficiency of 86.35% for BF-NLCopt. The optimized BF-NLCopt converted to gel (1% w/v, Carbopol 934) and showed ideal gel evaluation results (drug content 99.45 ± 2.11, pH 6.5 ± 0.2, viscosity 519 ± 1.43 CPs). The drug release study result depicted a prolonged drug release (65.09 ± 4.37%) with high drug permeation 641.37 ± 46.59 µg (32.07 ± 2.32%) than BF conventional gel. The low value of irritation score (0.17) exhibited negligible irritation on the skin after application. The anti-fungal result showed greater efficacy than the BF gel at both time points. The overall conclusion of the results revealed NLCs-based gel of BF as an ideal delivery system to treat the fungal infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Formulations with Antimicrobial Properties)
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Article
Preparation, Characterization, and Anti-Cancer Activity of Nanostructured Lipid Carriers Containing Imatinib
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1086; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071086 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 569
Abstract
Breast cancer is the most widespread malignancy in women worldwide. Nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) have proven effective in the treatment of cancer. NLCs loaded with imatinib (IMA) (NANIMA) were prepared and evaluated for their in vitro efficacy in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. The [...] Read more.
Breast cancer is the most widespread malignancy in women worldwide. Nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) have proven effective in the treatment of cancer. NLCs loaded with imatinib (IMA) (NANIMA) were prepared and evaluated for their in vitro efficacy in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. The hot homogenization method was used for the preparation of NANIMAs. An aqueous solution of surfactants (hot) was mixed with a molten mixture of stearic acid and sesame oil (hot) under homogenization. The prepared NANIMAs were characterized and evaluated for size, polydispersity index, zeta potential, encapsulation efficiency, release studies, stability studies, and MTT assay (cytotoxicity studies). The optimized NANIMAs revealed a particle size of 104.63 ± 9.55 d.nm, PdI of 0.227 ± 0.06, and EE of 99.79 ± 0.03. All of the NANIMAs revealed slow and sustained release behavior. The surfactants used in the preparation of the NANIMAs exhibited their effects on particle size, zeta potential, encapsulation efficiency, stability studies, and release studies. The cytotoxicity studies unveiled an 8.75 times increase in cytotoxicity for the optimized NANIMAs (IC50 = 6 µM) when compared to IMA alone (IC50 = 52.5 µM) on MCF-7 breast cancer cells. In the future, NLCs containing IMA will possibly be employed to cure breast cancer. A small amount of IMA loaded into the NLCs will be better than IMA alone for the treatment of breast cancer. Moreover, patients will likely exhibit less adverse effects than in the case of IMA alone. Consequently, NANIMAs could prove to be useful for effective breast cancer treatment. Full article
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Article
Olive Oil Lipophenols Induce Insulin Secretion in 832/13 β-Cell Models
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1085; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071085 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 575
Abstract
Glycemic control is a mainstay of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) clinical management. Despite the continuous improvement in knowledge and progress in terms of treatment, the achievement of the physiologic metabolic profile is still an ongoing challenge in diabetic patients. Pancreatic β-cell line [...] Read more.
Glycemic control is a mainstay of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) clinical management. Despite the continuous improvement in knowledge and progress in terms of treatment, the achievement of the physiologic metabolic profile is still an ongoing challenge in diabetic patients. Pancreatic β-cell line INS-1 832/13 was used to assess the insulin secretagogue activity of hydroxytyrosyl oleate (HtyOle) and tyrosyl oleate (TyOle), two naturally occurring lipophenols deriving from the conjugation of oleic acid (OA) and hydroxytyrosol (Hty) or tyrosol (Ty), respectively. The insulin secretion was determined under a glucose-induced insulin secretion (GSIS) condition by the ELISA method. The potential involvement of G-protein-coupled receptor 40 (GPR40), also known as free fatty acid receptor 1 (FFAR1), was investigated by both molecular docking and functional pharmacological approaches. Herein, we demonstrated that HtyOle and TyOle exerted a facilitatory activity on insulin secretion under the GSIS condition. Moreover, we provided evidence that both lipophenols are natural modulators of FFAR1 receptor. From our results, the anti-diabetes properties associated with olive oil consumption can be partly explained by the HtyOle and TyOle effects. Full article
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Review
Focused Ultrasound Combined with Microbubbles in Central Nervous System Applications
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1084; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071084 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 623
Abstract
The blood–brain barrier (BBB) protects the central nervous system (CNS) from invasive pathogens and maintains the homeostasis of the brain. Penetrating the BBB has been a major challenge in the delivery of therapeutic agents for treating CNS diseases. Through a physical acoustic cavitation [...] Read more.
The blood–brain barrier (BBB) protects the central nervous system (CNS) from invasive pathogens and maintains the homeostasis of the brain. Penetrating the BBB has been a major challenge in the delivery of therapeutic agents for treating CNS diseases. Through a physical acoustic cavitation effect, focused ultrasound (FUS) combined with microbubbles achieves the local detachment of tight junctions of capillary endothelial cells without inducing neuronal damage. The bioavailability of therapeutic agents is increased only in the area targeted by FUS energy. FUS with circulating microbubbles is currently the only method for inducing precise, transient, reversible, and noninvasive BBB opening (BBBO). Over the past decade, FUS-induced BBBO (FUS-BBBO) has been preclinically confirmed to not only enhance the penetration of therapeutic agents in the CNS, but also modulate focal immunity and neuronal activity. Several recent clinical human trials have demonstrated both the feasibility and potential advantages of using FUS-BBBO in diseased patients. The promising results support adding FUS-BBBO as a multimodal therapeutic strategy in modern CNS disease management. This review article explores this technology by describing its physical mechanisms and the preclinical findings, including biological effects, therapeutic concepts, and translational design of human medical devices, and summarizes completed and ongoing clinical trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasound-Mediated Delivery of Nanopharmaceuticals)
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Review
The Role of Growth Factors in Bioactive Coatings
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1083; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071083 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 594
Abstract
With increasing obesity and an ageing population, health complications are also on the rise, such as the need to replace a joint with an artificial one. In both humans and animals, the integration of the implant is crucial, and bioactive coatings play an [...] Read more.
With increasing obesity and an ageing population, health complications are also on the rise, such as the need to replace a joint with an artificial one. In both humans and animals, the integration of the implant is crucial, and bioactive coatings play an important role in bone tissue engineering. Since bone tissue engineering is about designing an implant that maximally mimics natural bone and is accepted by the tissue, the search for optimal materials and therapeutic agents and their concentrations is increasing. The incorporation of growth factors (GFs) in a bioactive coating represents a novel approach in bone tissue engineering, in which osteoinduction is enhanced in order to create the optimal conditions for the bone healing process, which crucially affects implant fixation. For the application of GFs in coatings and their implementation in clinical practice, factors such as the choice of one or more GFs, their concentration, the coating material, the method of incorporation, and the implant material must be considered to achieve the desired controlled release. Therefore, the avoidance of revision surgery also depends on the success of the design of the most appropriate bioactive coating. This overview considers the integration of the most common GFs that have been investigated in in vitro and in vivo studies, as well as in human clinical trials, with the aim of applying them in bioactive coatings. An overview of the main therapeutic agents that can stimulate cells to express the GFs necessary for bone tissue development is also provided. The main objective is to present the advantages and disadvantages of the GFs that have shown promise for inclusion in bioactive coatings according to the results of numerous studies. Full article
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Communication
Schisandrol A Exhibits Estrogenic Activity via Estrogen Receptor α-Dependent Signaling Pathway in Estrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer Cells
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1082; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071082 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 636
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the estrogen-like effects of gentiopicroside, macelignan, γ-mangostin, and three lignans (schisandrol A, schisandrol B, and schisandrin C), and their possible mechanism of action. Their effects on the proliferation of the estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine the estrogen-like effects of gentiopicroside, macelignan, γ-mangostin, and three lignans (schisandrol A, schisandrol B, and schisandrin C), and their possible mechanism of action. Their effects on the proliferation of the estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) were evaluated using Ez-Cytox reagents. The expression of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), AKT, and estrogen receptor α (ERα) was measured by performing Western blot analysis. 17β-estradiol (E2), also known as estradiol, is an estrogen steroid and was used as a positive control. ICI 182,780 (ICI), an ER antagonist, was used to block the ER function. Our results showed that, except for gentiopicroside, all the compounds promoted proliferation of MCF-7 cells, with schisandrol A being the most effective; this effect was better than that of E2 and was mitigated by ICI. Consistently, the expression of ERK, PI3K, AKT, and ERα increased following treatment with schisandrol A; this effect was slightly better than that of E2 and was mitigated by ICI. Taken together, the ERα induction via the PI3K/AKT and ERK signaling pathways may be a potential mechanism underlying the estrogen-like effects of schisandrol A. This study provides an experimental basis for the application of schisandrol A as a phytoestrogen for the prevention of menopausal symptoms. Full article
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Article
Polyacrylate-GnRH Peptide Conjugate as an Oral Contraceptive Vaccine Candidate
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1081; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071081 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 645
Abstract
Contraceptive vaccines are designed to elicit immune responses against major components of animal reproductive systems. These vaccines, which are most commonly administered via injection, typically target gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). However, the need to restrain animals for treatment limits the field applications of injectable [...] Read more.
Contraceptive vaccines are designed to elicit immune responses against major components of animal reproductive systems. These vaccines, which are most commonly administered via injection, typically target gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). However, the need to restrain animals for treatment limits the field applications of injectable vaccines. Oral administration would broaden vaccine applicability. We explored contraceptive vaccine candidates composed of GnRH peptide hormone, universal T helper PADRE (P), and a poly(methylacrylate) (PMA)-based delivery system. When self-assembled into nanoparticles, PMA-P-GnRH induced the production of high IgG titers after subcutaneous and oral administration in mice. PADRE was then replaced with pig T helper derived from the swine flu virus, and the vaccine was tested in pigs. High levels of systemic antibodies were produced in pigs after both injection and oral administration of the vaccine. In conclusion, we developed a simple peptide–polymer conjugate that shows promise as an effective, adjuvant-free, oral GnRH-based contraceptive vaccine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Delivering Protein and Peptide Therapeutics)
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Article
Biopharmaceutical Study of Triamcinolone Acetonide Semisolid Formulations for Sublingual and Buccal Administration
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1080; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071080 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 715
Abstract
The mouth can be affected by important inflammatory processes resulting from localized or systemic diseases such as diabetes, AIDS and leukemia, among others, and are manifested in various types of buccal sores typically presenting pain. This work focuses on the design, formulation, and [...] Read more.
The mouth can be affected by important inflammatory processes resulting from localized or systemic diseases such as diabetes, AIDS and leukemia, among others, and are manifested in various types of buccal sores typically presenting pain. This work focuses on the design, formulation, and characterization of four semisolid formulations for oral mucosa in order to symptomatically treat these painful processes. The formulations have two active pharmaceutical ingredients, triamcinolone acetonide (TA) and lidocaine hydrochloride (LIDO). The formula also contains, as an excipient, Orabase®, which is a protective, hydrophobic, and anhydrous adhesive vehicle, used to retain or facilitate the application of active pharmaceutical ingredients to the oral mucosa. After designing the formulations, an analytical method for TA was validated using HPLC so as to achieve reliable analytical results. Franz-type diffusion cells were used to perform drug release studies using synthetic membrane, and permeation studies using buccal mucosa, estimating the amount and rate of TA permeated across the tissue. Additionally, sublingual permeation studies were carried out to evaluate a scenario of a continuous contact of the tongue with the applied formulation. Permeation fluxes and the amount of TA retained within sublingual mucosa were similar to those in buccal mucosa, also implying anti-inflammatory activity in the part of the tongue that is in direct contact with the formulation. In addition, the dynamic conditions of the mouth were recreated in terms of the presence of phosphate buffered saline, constant movement of the tongue, pH, and temperature, using dissolution equipment. The amount of TA released into the phosphate buffered saline in dynamic conditions (subject to being ingested) is well below the normal oral doses of TA, for which the formulation can be considered safe. The formulations applied to buccal or sublingual mucosas under dynamic conditions permit the successful retention of TA within either tissue, where it exerts anti-inflammatory activity. The four formulations studied show a pseudoplastic and thixotropic behavior, ideal for topical application. These results evidence the potential of these topical formulations in the treatment of inflammatory processes in the buccal mucosa. Full article
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Review
In Vitro Evaluation of Nasal Aerosol Depositions: An Insight for Direct Nose to Brain Drug Delivery
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1079; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071079 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 867
Abstract
The nasal cavity is an attractive route for both local and systemic drug delivery and holds great potential for access to the brain via the olfactory region, an area where the blood–brain barrier (BBB) is effectively absent. However, the olfactory region is located [...] Read more.
The nasal cavity is an attractive route for both local and systemic drug delivery and holds great potential for access to the brain via the olfactory region, an area where the blood–brain barrier (BBB) is effectively absent. However, the olfactory region is located at the roof of the nasal cavity and only represents ~5–7% of the epithelial surface area, presenting significant challenges for the deposition of drug molecules for nose to brain drug delivery (NTBDD). Aerosolized particles have the potential to be directed to the olfactory region, but their specific deposition within this area is confounded by a complex combination of factors, which include the properties of the formulation, the delivery device and how it is used, and differences in inter-patient physiology. In this review, an in-depth examination of these different factors is provided in relation to both in vitro and in vivo studies and how advances in the fabrication of nasal cast models and analysis of aerosol deposition can be utilized to predict in vivo outcomes more accurately. The challenges faced in assessing the nasal deposition of aerosolized particles within the paediatric population are specifically considered, representing an unmet need for nasal and NTBDD to treat CNS disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeted Drug Delivery to the Brain)
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Article
Novel Non-Congeneric Derivatives of the Choline Kinase Alpha Inhibitor ICL-CCIC-0019
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1078; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071078 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 664
Abstract
Choline kinase alpha (CHKA) is a promising target for the development of cancer therapeutics. We have previously reported ICL-CCIC-0019, a potent CHKA inhibitor with high cellular activity but with some unfavorable pharmacological properties. In this work, we present an active analogue of ICL-CCIC-0019 [...] Read more.
Choline kinase alpha (CHKA) is a promising target for the development of cancer therapeutics. We have previously reported ICL-CCIC-0019, a potent CHKA inhibitor with high cellular activity but with some unfavorable pharmacological properties. In this work, we present an active analogue of ICL-CCIC-0019 bearing a piperazine handle (CK146) to facilitate further structural elaboration of the pharmacophore and thus improve the biological profile. Two different strategies were evaluated in this study: (1) a prodrug approach whereby selective CHKA inhibition could be achieved through modulating the activity of CK146, via the incorporation of an ε-(Ac) Lys motif, cleavable by elevated levels of histone deacetylase (HDAC) and cathepsin L (CTSL) in tumour cells; (2) a prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) receptor targeted delivery strategy. Prodrug (CK145) and PSMA-targeted (CK147) derivatives were successfully synthesized and evaluated in vitro. While the exploitation of CK146 in those two strategies did not deliver the expected results, important and informative structure-activity relationships were observed and have been reported. Full article
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Review
Inhalation Delivery for the Treatment and Prevention of COVID-19 Infection
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1077; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071077 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1079
Abstract
Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is caused by coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and has produced a global pandemic. As of 22 June 2021, 178 million people have been affected worldwide, and 3.87 million people have died from COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is caused by coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and has produced a global pandemic. As of 22 June 2021, 178 million people have been affected worldwide, and 3.87 million people have died from COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States, COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted between people through respiratory droplets and contact routes. Since the location of initial infection and disease progression is primarily through the lungs, the inhalation delivery of drugs directly to the lungs may be the most appropriate route of administration for treating COVID-19. This review article aims to present possible inhalation therapeutics and vaccines for the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms. This review covers the comparison between SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV/MERS, inhalation therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms, and vaccines for preventing infection, as well as the current clinical status of inhaled therapeutics and vaccines. Full article
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Article
Two in One: Use of Divalent Manganese Ions as Both Cross-Linking and MRI Contrast Agent for Intrathecal Injection of Hydrogel-Embedded Stem Cells
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1076; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071076 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 641
Abstract
Cell therapy is a promising tool for treating central nervous system (CNS) disorders; though, the translational efforts are plagued by ineffective delivery methods. Due to the large contact surface with CNS and relatively easy access, the intrathecal route of administration is attractive in [...] Read more.
Cell therapy is a promising tool for treating central nervous system (CNS) disorders; though, the translational efforts are plagued by ineffective delivery methods. Due to the large contact surface with CNS and relatively easy access, the intrathecal route of administration is attractive in extensive or global diseases such as stroke or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, the precision and efficacy of this approach are still a challenge. Hydrogels were introduced to minimize cell sedimentation and improve cell viability. At the same time, contrast agents were integrated to allow image-guided injection. Here, we report using manganese ions (Mn2+) as a dual agent for cross-linking alginate-based hydrogels and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We performed in vitro studies to test the Mn2+ alginate hydrogel formulations for biocompatibility, injectability, MRI signal retention time, and effect on cell viability. The selected formulation was injected intrathecally into pigs under MRI control. The biocompatibility test showed a lack of immune response, and cells suspended in the hydrogel showed greater viability than monolayer culture. Moreover, Mn2+-labeled hydrogel produced a strong T1 MRI signal, which enabled MRI-guided procedure. We confirmed the utility of Mn2+ alginate hydrogel as a carrier for cells in large animals and a contrast agent at the same time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic and Functional Nanomaterials for Molecular Imaging)
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Article
Oral Delivery of Nucleic Acids with Passive and Active Targeting to the Intestinal Tissue Using Polymer-Based Nanocarriers
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1075; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071075 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 682
Abstract
Despite the apparent advantages for long-term treatment and local therapies against intestinal diseases, the oral delivery of nucleic acids has been challenging due to unfavorable physiological conditions for their stability. In this study, a novel nanodelivery system of PEG-PCL nanoparticles with encapsulated nucleic [...] Read more.
Despite the apparent advantages for long-term treatment and local therapies against intestinal diseases, the oral delivery of nucleic acids has been challenging due to unfavorable physiological conditions for their stability. In this study, a novel nanodelivery system of PEG-PCL nanoparticles with encapsulated nucleic acids–mannosylated PEI (Man-PEI) complexes was developed for intestinal delivery. We complexed model nucleic acids with Man-PEI at the optimal N/P ratio of 20:1 for in vitro and in vivo analyses. Cells were transfected in vitro and analyzed for gene expression, receptor-mediated uptake, and PEG-PCL nanoparticles’ toxicity. We also evaluated the nucleic acid’s stability in the nanocarrier during formulation, and under simulated gastrointestinal environments or the presence of nucleases. Finally, we assessed the biodistribution for the PEG-PCL nanoparticles with encapsulated complexes and their ability to transfect intestinal cells in vivo. Nucleic acids complexed with Man-PEI were protected from degradation against nucleases. In comparison to the parent compound PEI, Man-PEI transfected the cells with an overall higher potency. Competition assay indicated receptor-mediated endocytosis promoted by mannose receptors. The PEG-PCL nanoparticles with Man-PEI/plasmid complexes indicated minimal cytotoxicity. The nanocarrier successfully protected the complexes in a simulated gastric fluid environment and released them in a simulated intestinal fluid environment, promoted by the presence of lipases. The oral administration of the PEG-PCL nanoparticles with encapsulated Man-PEI/plasmid complexes transfected intestinal cells with the plasmid in vivo, while presenting a time-dependent progression through the intestines. Conclusively, our carrier system can deliver genetic material to the GI tract and actively target mannose receptor overexpressing cells. Full article
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Article
Effect of Storage Humidity on Physical Stability of Spray-Dried Naproxen Amorphous Solid Dispersions with Polyvinylpyrrolidone: Two Fluid Nozzle vs. Three Fluid Nozzle
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1074; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071074 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 948
Abstract
In a spray drying operation, a two-fluid nozzle (2FN) with a single channel is commonly used for atomizing the feed solution. However, the less commonly used three-fluid nozzle (3FN) has two separate channels, which allow spray drying of materials in two incompatible solution [...] Read more.
In a spray drying operation, a two-fluid nozzle (2FN) with a single channel is commonly used for atomizing the feed solution. However, the less commonly used three-fluid nozzle (3FN) has two separate channels, which allow spray drying of materials in two incompatible solution systems. Although amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) prepared using a 3FN have been reported to deliver comparable drug dissolution performance relative to those prepared using a 2FN, few studies have systematically examined the effect of 3FN on the physical stability. Therefore, the goal of this work is to systematically study the physical stability of ASDs that are spray-dried using a 3FN compared to those prepared using the traditional 2FN. For the 2FN, a single solution of naproxen and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) was prepared in a mixture of acetone and water at a 1:1 volume ratio because 2FN allows for only one solution inlet. For the 3FN, naproxen and PVP were dissolved individually in acetone and water, respectively, because 3FN allows simultaneous entry of two solutions. Upon storage of the formulated ASDs at different humidity levels (25%, 55% and 75% RH), naproxen crystallized more quickly from the 3FN ASDs as compared with the 2FN ASDs. 3FN ASDs crystallized after 5 days of storage at all conditions, whereas 2FN ASDs did not crystallize even at 55% RH for two months. This relatively higher crystallization tendency of 3FN ASDs was attributed to the inhomogeneity of drug and polymers as identified by the solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance findings, specifically due to poor mixing of water- and acetone-based solutions at the 3FN nozzle. When only acetone was used as a solvent to prepare drug-polymer solutions for 3FN, the formulated ASD was found to be stable for >3 months of storage (at 75% RH), which suggests that instability of the 3FN ASD was due to the insufficient mixing of water and acetone solutions. This study provides insights into the effects of solvent and nozzle choices on the physical stability of spray-dried ASDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Particle Engineering for Drug Delivery Applications)
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