Special Issue "Feature Papers in Physical Pharmacy and Formulation"

A special issue of Pharmaceutics (ISSN 1999-4923). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Pharmacy and Formulation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Jaehwi Lee
E-Mail
Guest Editor
College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, Korea
Interests: solubilization; bioavailability; particle technologies; lipid-based drug delivery; formulation design
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue entitled “Physical Pharmacy and Formulation” aims to collect high-quality original research articles, communications, and comprehensive review papers in the cutting-edge field of physical pharmacy and formulation. We encourage Editorial Board Members of Pharmaceutics to contribute feature papers reflecting the latest progress in their research field or to invite relevant experts and colleagues to do so.

Prof. Dr. Jaehwi Lee
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pharmaceutics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Solubility
  • Solubilization
  • Dissolution
  • Polymorphism
  • Permeability
  • Stability and stabilization
  • New materials for controlling drug characteristics
  • Analytical techniques
  • Novel excipients
  • Formulation science
  • Drug delivery systems
  • Controlled release
  • Drug targeting
  • Bioavailability
  • Quality-by-design
  • Regulatory science

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Article
Engineering the Surface of Ti3C2 MXene Nanosheets for High Stability and Multimodal Anticancer Therapy
Pharmaceutics 2022, 14(2), 304; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics14020304 - 27 Jan 2022
Viewed by 86
Abstract
The surface of Ti3C2 MXene nanosheets (TC NSs) was first modified with the antioxidants sodium ascorbate (SA) and dopamine (DA) (DSTC NS) to improve their stability in oxidative and hydration environments and thereby improve their bioapplications. This novel approach not [...] Read more.
The surface of Ti3C2 MXene nanosheets (TC NSs) was first modified with the antioxidants sodium ascorbate (SA) and dopamine (DA) (DSTC NS) to improve their stability in oxidative and hydration environments and thereby improve their bioapplications. This novel approach not only improved MXene stability by arresting oxidation but also increased the available functional groups for further functionalization with various biomolecules. The DSTC NSs were then sequentially conjugated with enzyme glucose oxidase (GOx) and photosensitizer Ce6 to render the obtained CGDSTC NSs with glucose starvation and photodynamic therapeutic properties and thus attain high efficiency in killing cancer cells through the cooperative effect. The as-synthesized CGDSTC NSs demonstrated tremendous photothermal effect with conversion efficiency of 45.1% and photodynamic (ROS generation) properties upon irradiation with 808 and 671 nm lasers. Furthermore, it was observed that the enzymatic activity of CGDSTC NSs increased upon laser irradiation due to enhanced solution temperature. During in vitro studies, the CGDSTC NSs exhibited cytocompatability to HePG2 and HeLa cells under nonstimulus conditions. However, they elicited more than 90% cell-killing efficiency in the presence of glucose and laser irradiation via the cooperative effect between starvation therapy and phototherapy. These results indicate that CGDSTC NSs could be used as potential therapeutic agents to eradicate cancers with no or few adverse effects. This surface modification approach is also simple and facile to adopt in MXene-based research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Pharmacy and Formulation)
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Article
Constant Voltage Iontophoresis Technique to Deliver Terbinafine via Transungual Delivery System: Formulation Optimization Using Box–Behnken Design and In Vitro Evaluation
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(10), 1692; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13101692 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 313
Abstract
Topical therapy of antifungals is primarily restricted due to the low innate transport of drugs through the thick multi-layered keratinized nail plate. The objective of this investigation was to develop a gel formulation, and to optimize and evaluate the transungual delivery of terbinafine [...] Read more.
Topical therapy of antifungals is primarily restricted due to the low innate transport of drugs through the thick multi-layered keratinized nail plate. The objective of this investigation was to develop a gel formulation, and to optimize and evaluate the transungual delivery of terbinafine using the constant voltage iontophoresis technique. Statistical analysis was performed using Box–Behnken design to optimize the transungual delivery of terbinafine by examining crucial variables namely concentration of polyethylene glycol, voltage, and duration of application (2–6 h). Optimization data in batches (F1–F17) demonstrated that chemical enhancer, applied voltage, and application time have influenced terbinafine nail delivery. Higher ex vivo permeation and drug accumulation into the nail tissue were noticed in the optimized batch (F8) when compared with other batches (F1–F17). A greater amount of terbinafine was released across the nails when the drug was accumulated by iontophoresis than the passive counterpart. A remarkably higher zone of inhibition was observed in nails with greater drug accumulation due to iontophoresis, as compared to the passive process. The results here demonstrate that the optimized formulation with low voltage iontophoresis could be a viable and alternative tool in the transungual delivery of terbinafine, which in turn could improve the success rate of topical nail therapy in onychomycosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Pharmacy and Formulation)
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Article
Development and Evaluation of Tannic Acid-Coated Nanosuspension for Enhancing Oral Bioavailability of Curcumin
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(9), 1460; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13091460 - 13 Sep 2021
Viewed by 666
Abstract
Curcumin (CUR) has been used in the treatment of various diseases such as cough, fever, skin disease, and infection because of various biological benefits such as anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antitumor activity. However, CUR is a BCS class 4 group and has a [...] Read more.
Curcumin (CUR) has been used in the treatment of various diseases such as cough, fever, skin disease, and infection because of various biological benefits such as anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antitumor activity. However, CUR is a BCS class 4 group and has a limitation of low bioavailability due to low solubility and permeability. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to prepare a nanosuspension (NSP) loaded with CUR (CUR-NSP) using a statistical design approach to improve the oral bioavailability of CUR, and then to develop CUR-NSP coated with tannic acid to increase the mucoadhesion in the GI tract. Firstly, the optimized CUR-NSP, composed of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and polyvinylpyrrolidone/vinyl acetate (PVP/VA), was modified with tannic acid (TA). The particle size and polydispersity index of the formulation measured by laser scattering analyzer were 127.7 ± 1.3 nm and 0.227 ± 0.010, respectively. In addition, the precipitation in distilled water (DW) was 1.52 ± 0.58%. Using a differential scanning calorimeter and X-ray diffraction analysis, the stable amorphous form of CUR was confirmed in the formulation, and it was confirmed that CUR-NSP formulation was coated with TA through a Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy. In the mucoadhesion assay using the turbidity, it was confirmed that TA-CUR-NSP had higher affinity for mucus than CUR-NSP under all pH conditions. This means that the absorption of CUR can be improved by increasing the retention time in the GI tract of the formulation. In addition, the drug release profile showed more than 80% release, and in the cellular uptake study, the absorption of the formulation (TA-CUR-NSP) containing TA acting as an inhibitor of P-gp was increased by 1.6-fold. In the evaluation of antioxidant activity, the SOD activity of TA-CUR-NSP was remarkably high due to TA, which improves cellular uptake and has antioxidant activity. In the pharmacokinetic evaluation, the maximum drug plasma concentration of the TA-coated NSP formulation was 7.2-fold higher than that of the pure drug. In all experiments, it was confirmed that the TA-CUR-NSP is a promising approach to overcome the low oral bioavailability of CUR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Pharmacy and Formulation)
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Article
Artificial Neural Networks to Predict the Apparent Degree of Supersaturation in Supersaturated Lipid-Based Formulations: A Pilot Study
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(9), 1398; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13091398 - 05 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1089
Abstract
In response to the increasing application of machine learning (ML) across many facets of pharmaceutical development, this pilot study investigated if ML, using artificial neural networks (ANNs), could predict the apparent degree of supersaturation (aDS) from two supersaturated LBFs (sLBFs). Accuracy was compared [...] Read more.
In response to the increasing application of machine learning (ML) across many facets of pharmaceutical development, this pilot study investigated if ML, using artificial neural networks (ANNs), could predict the apparent degree of supersaturation (aDS) from two supersaturated LBFs (sLBFs). Accuracy was compared to partial least squares (PLS) regression models. Equilibrium solubility in Capmul MCM and Maisine CC was obtained for 21 poorly water-soluble drugs at ambient temperature and 60 °C to calculate the aDS ratio. These aDS ratios and drug descriptors were used to train the ML models. When compared, the ANNs outperformed PLS for both sLBFCapmulMC (r2 0.90 vs. 0.56) and sLBFMaisineLC (r2 0.83 vs. 0.62), displaying smaller root mean square errors (RMSEs) and residuals upon training and testing. Across all the models, the descriptors involving reactivity and electron density were most important for prediction. This pilot study showed that ML can be employed to predict the propensity for supersaturation in LBFs, but even larger datasets need to be evaluated to draw final conclusions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Pharmacy and Formulation)
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Article
Nanocrystalline Suspensions of Irbesartan Enhance Oral Bioavailability by Improving Drug Solubility and Leading Endocytosis Uptake into the Intestine
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(9), 1404; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13091404 - 03 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 664
Abstract
We attempted to design irbesartan nanocrystalline (IRB-NC) suspensions by the bead mill method, and we evaluated the bioavailability (BA) in the oral administration of the nanocrystalline drug. The mean particle size of the IRB-NC suspensions was approximately 140 nm, and the crystalline structure [...] Read more.
We attempted to design irbesartan nanocrystalline (IRB-NC) suspensions by the bead mill method, and we evaluated the bioavailability (BA) in the oral administration of the nanocrystalline drug. The mean particle size of the IRB-NC suspensions was approximately 140 nm, and the crystalline structure of irbesartan in these suspensions was different using the bead mill method. The aggregation and degradation of irbesartan were not observed for one month, and the solubility increased. Moreover, the inclusion complex formation of IRB-NC suspensions with 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin was higher than that in traditional IRB powder (IRB-P). In addition, the intestinal absorption of IRB-NC suspensions was higher than that of IRB-P suspensions, and the reducing effect on blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive SHR-SP rats orally administered IRB-NC suspensions was significantly higher than in those administered IRB-P suspensions. On the other hand, the intestinal penetration of IRB-NC suspensions was attenuated by the inhibitors of clathrin-dependent endocytosis (CME). In conclusion, we improved the low oral BA of irbesartan by preparing IRB-NC suspensions and showed that both the solubility and CME are related to the enhanced intestinal absorption of IRB-NC suspensions, resulting in an increase in their antihypertensive effect. These findings provide significant information for the development of oral nanomedicines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Pharmacy and Formulation)
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Article
Exploring Taxifolin Polymorphs: Insights on Hydrate and Anhydrous Forms
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(9), 1328; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13091328 - 25 Aug 2021
Viewed by 688
Abstract
Taxifolin, also known as dihydroquercetin, possesses several interesting biological properties. The purpose of the study was to identify polymorphs of taxifolin prepared using crystallization in different solvents. Data from X-ray powder diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, and thermogravimetry enabled us to detect six different [...] Read more.
Taxifolin, also known as dihydroquercetin, possesses several interesting biological properties. The purpose of the study was to identify polymorphs of taxifolin prepared using crystallization in different solvents. Data from X-ray powder diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, and thermogravimetry enabled us to detect six different crystalline phases for taxifolin. Besides the already known fully hydrated phase, one partially hydrated phase, one monohydrated phase, two anhydrous polymorphs, and one probably solvated phase were obtained. The unit cell parameters were defined for three of them, while one anhydrous polymorph was fully structurally characterized by X-ray powder diffraction data. Scanning electron microscopy and hot stage microscopy were also employed to characterize the crystallized taxifolin powders. The hydrate and anhydrous forms showed remarkable stability in drastic storage conditions, and their solubility was deeply evaluated. The anhydrous form converted into the hydrate form during the equilibrium solubility study and taxifolin equilibrium solubility was about 1.2 mg/mL. The hydrate taxifolin intrinsic dissolution rate was 56.4 μg cm−2 min−1. Using Wood’s apparatus, it was not possible to determine the intrinsic dissolution rate of anhydrous taxifolin that is expected to solubilize more rapidly than the hydrate form. In view of its high stability, its use can be hypothesized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Pharmacy and Formulation)
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Article
Personalised Tasted Masked Chewable 3D Printed Fruit-Chews for Paediatric Patients
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(8), 1301; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13081301 - 20 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1029
Abstract
The development of personalised paediatric dosage forms using 3D printing technologies has gained significant interest over the last few years. In the current study extruded filaments of the highly bitter Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride (DPH) were fabricated by using suitable hydrophilic carries such as hydroxypropyl [...] Read more.
The development of personalised paediatric dosage forms using 3D printing technologies has gained significant interest over the last few years. In the current study extruded filaments of the highly bitter Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride (DPH) were fabricated by using suitable hydrophilic carries such as hydroxypropyl cellulose (Klucel ELFTM) and a non-ionic surfactant (Gelucire 48/16TM) combined with sweetener (Sucralose) and strawberry flavour grades. The thermoplastic filaments were used to print 3D fruit-chew designs by Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) technology. Physicochemical characterisation confirmed the formation of glass solution where DPH was molecularly dispersed within the hydrophilic carriers. DPH was released rapidly from the 3D printed fruit-chew designs with >85% within the first 30 min. Trained panellists performed a full taste and sensory evaluation of the sweetener intensity and the strawberry aroma. The evaluation showed complete taste masking of the bitter DPH and revealed a synergistic effect of the sweetener and the strawberry flavour with enhanced sweet strawberry, fruity and aftertaste perception. The findings of the study can be used for the development of paediatric dosage forms with enhanced organoleptic properties, palatability and medication adherence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Pharmacy and Formulation)
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Article
A Biodegradable Copolyester, Poly(butylene succinate-co-ε-caprolactone), as a High Efficiency Matrix Former for Controlled Release of Drugs
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1057; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071057 - 10 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 838
Abstract
A biodegradable copolyester, poly(butylene succinate-co-ε-caprolactone) (PBS_CL), was used for first time as an excipient for pharmaceutical dosage forms using direct compression and hot processing techniques (ultrasound-assisted compression (USAC) and hot melt extrusion (HME)). Robust binary systems were achieved with hot processing [...] Read more.
A biodegradable copolyester, poly(butylene succinate-co-ε-caprolactone) (PBS_CL), was used for first time as an excipient for pharmaceutical dosage forms using direct compression and hot processing techniques (ultrasound-assisted compression (USAC) and hot melt extrusion (HME)). Robust binary systems were achieved with hot processing techniques, allowing a controlled release of the drug. With only 12% v/v of PBS_CL, controlled release forms were obtained using USAC whereas in HME over 34% v/v of excipient is necessary. Amounts over 23% v/v allowed a long-extended release for more than 72 h following diffusional kinetic. Thanks to the high melting point of theophylline and the physicochemical properties of PBS_CL selected and synthesized, the structure of the excipient inside the USAC tablets and HME filaments corresponds to a continuum medium. A percolation threshold around 23% v/v was estimated, which agrees with a continuum percolation model. The polymer shows a high excipient efficiency value using HME and USAC. A nanostructured matrix with wall thicknesses lower than 0.1 µm was obtained. This leads to a very effective coating of the drug particles by the excipient, providing a slow and reproducible release. The present study therefore supports the use of PBS_CL, for the preparation of controlled release dosage forms using hot processing techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Pharmacy and Formulation)
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Article
Model-Informed Optimization of a Pediatric Clinical Pharmacokinetic Trial of a New Spironolactone Liquid Formulation
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(6), 849; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13060849 - 08 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1069
Abstract
Quantitative pharmacology brings important advantages in the design and conduct of pediatric clinical trials. Herein, we demonstrate the application of a model-based approach to select doses and pharmacokinetic sampling scenarios for the clinical evaluation of a novel oral suspension of spironolactone in pediatric [...] Read more.
Quantitative pharmacology brings important advantages in the design and conduct of pediatric clinical trials. Herein, we demonstrate the application of a model-based approach to select doses and pharmacokinetic sampling scenarios for the clinical evaluation of a novel oral suspension of spironolactone in pediatric patients with edema. A population pharmacokinetic model was developed and qualified for spironolactone and its metabolite, canrenone, using data from adults and bridged to pediatrics (2 to <17 years old) using allometric scaling. The model was then used via simulation to explore different dosing and sampling scenarios. Doses of 0.5 and 1.5 mg/kg led to target exposures (i.e., similar to 25 and 100 mg of the reference product in adults) in all the reference pediatric ages (i.e., 2, 6, 12 and 17 years). Additionally, two different sampling scenarios were delineated to accommodate patients into sparse sampling schemes informative to characterize drug pharmacokinetics while minimizing phlebotomy and burden to participating children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Pharmacy and Formulation)
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Review

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Review
Recent Technologies for Amorphization of Poorly Water-Soluble Drugs
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(8), 1318; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13081318 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1028
Abstract
Amorphization technology has been the subject of continuous attention in the pharmaceutical industry, as a means to enhance the solubility of poorly water-soluble drugs. Being in a high energy state, amorphous formulations generally display significantly increased apparent solubility as compared to their crystalline [...] Read more.
Amorphization technology has been the subject of continuous attention in the pharmaceutical industry, as a means to enhance the solubility of poorly water-soluble drugs. Being in a high energy state, amorphous formulations generally display significantly increased apparent solubility as compared to their crystalline counterparts, which may allow them to generate a supersaturated state in the gastrointestinal tract and in turn, improve the bioavailability. Conventionally, hydrophilic polymers have been used as carriers, in which the amorphous drugs were dispersed and stabilized to form polymeric amorphous solid dispersions. However, the technique had its limitations, some of which include the need for a large number of carriers, the tendency to recrystallize during storage, and the possibility of thermal decomposition of the drug during preparation. Therefore, emerging amorphization technologies have focused on the investigation of novel amorphous-stabilizing carriers and preparation methods that can improve the drug loading and the degree of amorphization. This review highlights the recent pharmaceutical approaches utilizing drug amorphization, such as co-amorphous systems, mesoporous particle-based techniques, and in situ amorphization. Recent updates on these technologies in the last five years are discussed with a focus on their characteristics and commercial potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Pharmacy and Formulation)
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Review
An Updated Overview of the Emerging Role of Patch and Film-Based Buccal Delivery Systems
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(8), 1206; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13081206 - 05 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1466
Abstract
Buccal mucosal membrane offers an attractive drug-delivery route to enhance both systemic and local therapy. This review discusses the benefits and drawbacks of buccal drug delivery, anatomical and physiological aspects of oral mucosa, and various in vitro techniques frequently used for examining buccal [...] Read more.
Buccal mucosal membrane offers an attractive drug-delivery route to enhance both systemic and local therapy. This review discusses the benefits and drawbacks of buccal drug delivery, anatomical and physiological aspects of oral mucosa, and various in vitro techniques frequently used for examining buccal drug-delivery systems. The role of mucoadhesive polymers, penetration enhancers, and enzyme inhibitors to circumvent the formulation challenges particularly due to salivary renovation cycle, masticatory effect, and limited absorption area are summarized. Biocompatible mucoadhesive films and patches are favored dosage forms for buccal administration because of flexibility, comfort, lightness, acceptability, capacity to withstand mechanical stress, and customized size. Preparation methods, scale-up process and manufacturing of buccal films are briefed. Ongoing and completed clinical trials of buccal film formulations designed for systemic delivery are tabulated. Polymeric or lipid nanocarriers incorporated in buccal film to resolve potential formulation and drug-delivery issues are reviewed. Vaccine-enabled buccal films have the potential ability to produce both antibodies mediated and cell mediated immunity. Advent of novel 3D printing technologies with built-in flexibility would allow multiple drug combinations as well as compartmentalization to separate incompatible drugs. Exploring new functional excipients with potential capacity for permeation enhancement of particularly large-molecular-weight hydrophilic drugs and unstable proteins, oligonucleotides are the need of the hour for rapid advancement in the exciting field of buccal drug delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Physical Pharmacy and Formulation)
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