Special Issue "Development and Characterization of Nanocarriers for Drugs"

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Pharmaceutical Processes".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Carla Vitorino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
2. Coimbra Chemistry Center, Department of Chemistry, University of Coimbra, 3004-535 Coimbra, Portugal
3. Centre for Neurosciences and Cell Biology (CNC), Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, 3004-504 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: nanotechnology; transdermal/topical systems; skin delivery; lipid nanoparticles; controlled release; brain drug delivery; cancer therapy; quality by design
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Sandra Nunes
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Coimbra Chemistry Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Coimbra, Rua Larga, 3004-535 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: surface adsorption; polyelectrolyte behaviour in solution; nucleic acid-based systems; biomembranes; simulation and modelling; thermodynamics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Tânia Cova
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Coimbra Chemistry Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Coimbra, Rua Larga, 3004-535 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: supramolecular chemistry; polymer chemistry; drug delivery; simulation and modelling; design of experiments; machine learning; chemometrics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The pharmaceutical development and characterization of nanosystems for drug delivery have produced a new era in formulation design and manufacturing processes. Our understanding of physicochemical processes, system composition, intrinsic properties, and how they affect the quality profile of final products is assuming increasingly critical importance. Such knowledge imposes the development of methodologies and the harmonization or the establishment of standards able to predict and study in a comprehensive way (i) the critical quality attributes of nanocarriers and (ii) their interaction with the biological environment.

This Special Issue aims at providing cutting-edge studies focused on nanocarrier formulation design, analysis, and control of manufacturing processes, including those directed at the evaluation of critical parameters in the performance/quality of drug nanocarriers.

Bearing in mind the growing advantage of applying multidisciplinary approaches to nanomedicine development, it is also envisioned to highlight important insights from simulations and modelling approaches, including those based on machine learning algorithms in alignment to Industry 4.0 assumptions, and regulatory requirements.

It is our pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript for this Special Issue. Full papers, communications, or timely reviews are all welcome.

Prof. Dr. Carla Vitorino
Dr. Sandra Nunes
Dr. Tânia Cova
Guest Editors

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. Processes 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 2000 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

  • nanocarrier development
  • design formulation
  • manufacturing processes
  • quality by design
  • nanosystem characterization
  • nanoenabled regulatory aspects
  • pharmaceutical development

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Investigating the Feasibility of Mefenamic Acid Nanosuspension for Pediatric Delivery: Preparation, Characterization, and Role of Excipients
Processes 2021, 9(4), 574; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pr9040574 - 25 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 587
Abstract
Molecules with poor aqueous solubility are difficult to formulate using conventional approaches and are associated with many formulation delivery issues. To overcome these obstacles, nanosuspension technology can be one of the promising approaches. Hence, in this study, the feasibility of mefenamic acid (MA) [...] Read more.
Molecules with poor aqueous solubility are difficult to formulate using conventional approaches and are associated with many formulation delivery issues. To overcome these obstacles, nanosuspension technology can be one of the promising approaches. Hence, in this study, the feasibility of mefenamic acid (MA) oral nanosuspension was investigated for pediatric delivery by studying the role of excipients and optimizing the techniques. Nanosuspensions of MA were prepared by adopting an antisolvent precipitation method, followed by ultrasonication with varying concentrations of polymers, surfactants, and microfluidics. The prepared nanosuspensions were evaluated for particle size, morphology, and rheological measures. Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) with varying concentrations and different stabilizers including Tween® 80 and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SLS) were used to restrain the particle size growth of the developed nanosuspension. The optimized nanosuspension formula was stable for more than 3 weeks and showed a reduced particle size of 510 nm with a polydispersity index of 0.329. It was observed that the type and ratio of polymer stabilizers were responsive on the particle contour and dimension and stability. We have developed a biologically compatible oral nanoformulation for a first-in-class drug beautifully designed for pediatric delivery that will be progressed toward further in vivo enabling studies. Finally, the nanosuspension could be considered a promising carrier for pediatric delivery of MA through the oral route with enhanced biological impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Characterization of Nanocarriers for Drugs)
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Article
Antioxidant-Loaded Mucoadhesive Nanoparticles for Eye Drug Delivery: A New Strategy to Reduce Oxidative Stress
Processes 2021, 9(2), 379; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pr9020379 - 19 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 932
Abstract
There are several approaches to treat ocular diseases, which can be invasive or non-invasive. Within the non-invasive, new pharmaceutical strategies based on nanotechnology and mucoadhesive polymers are emerging methodologies, which aim to reach an efficient treatment of eye diseases. The aim of this [...] Read more.
There are several approaches to treat ocular diseases, which can be invasive or non-invasive. Within the non-invasive, new pharmaceutical strategies based on nanotechnology and mucoadhesive polymers are emerging methodologies, which aim to reach an efficient treatment of eye diseases. The aim of this work was the development of novel chitosan/hyaluronic acid nanoparticle systems with mucoadhesive properties, intended to encapsulate antioxidant molecules (e.g., crocin) aiming to reduce eye oxidative stress and, consequently, ocular disease. An ultraviolet (UV) absorber molecule, actinoquinol, was also added to the nanoparticles, to further decrease oxidative stress. The developed nanoparticles were characterized and the results showed a mean particle size lower than 400 nm, polydispersity index of 0.220 ± 0.034, positive zeta potential, and high yield. The nanoparticles were also characterized in terms of pH, osmolality, and viscosity. Mucoadhesion studies involving the determination of zeta potential, viscosity, and tackiness, showed a strong interaction between the nanoparticles and mucin. In vitro release studies using synthetic membranes in Franz diffusion cells were conducted to unravel the drug release kinetic profile. Ex vitro studies using pig eye scleras in Franz diffusion cells were performed to evaluate the permeation of the nanoparticles. Furthermore, in vitro assays using the ARPE-19 (adult retinal pigment epithelium) cell line showed that the nanoparticles can efficiently decrease oxidative stress and showed low cytotoxicity. Thus, the developed chitosan/hyaluronic acid nanoparticles are a promising system for the delivery of antioxidants to the eye, by increasing their residence time and controlling their delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Characterization of Nanocarriers for Drugs)
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Article
Fast Screening Methods for the Analysis of Topical Drug Products
Processes 2020, 8(4), 397; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pr8040397 - 29 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1006
Abstract
Considering the recent regulatory requirements, the overall importance of in vitro release testing (IVRT) methods regarding topical product development is undeniable, especially when addressing particulate systems. For each IVRT study, several hundreds of samples are generated. Therefore, developing rapid reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography [...] Read more.
Considering the recent regulatory requirements, the overall importance of in vitro release testing (IVRT) methods regarding topical product development is undeniable, especially when addressing particulate systems. For each IVRT study, several hundreds of samples are generated. Therefore, developing rapid reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) methods, able to provide a real-time drug analysis of IVRT samples, is a priority. In this study, eight topical complex drug products exhibiting distinct physicochemical profiles were considered. RP-HPLC methods were developed and fully validated. Chromatographic separations were achieved on a XBridgeTM C18 (5 µm particle size, 150 mm × 2.1 mm), or alternatively on a LiChrospher® 100 RP-18 (5 µm particle size, 125 mm × 4.6 mm) at 30 °C, under isocratic conditions using UV detection at specific wavelengths. According to the physicochemical characteristics of each drug, different mobile phases were selected. Irrespective of the drug (hydrocortisone, etofenamate, bifonazole, clotrimazole, acyclovir, tioconazole, clobetasol, and diclofenac) and formulation, retention time values did not exceed 6.5 min. All methods were linear, specific, precise, and accurate at the intraday and interday levels, robust, and stable. These were successfully applied to establish product-specific IVRT profiles, thus providing a key database useful for topical pharmaceutical manufacturers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Characterization of Nanocarriers for Drugs)
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Review

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Review
A Review of Gum Hydrocolloid Polyelectrolyte Complexes (PEC) for Biomedical Applications: Their Properties and Drug Delivery Studies
Processes 2021, 9(10), 1796; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pr9101796 - 11 Oct 2021
Viewed by 368
Abstract
The utilization of natural gum polysaccharides as the vehicle for drug delivery systems and other biomedical applications has increased in recent decades. Their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and price are much cheaper than other materials. It is also renewable and available in massive amounts, which [...] Read more.
The utilization of natural gum polysaccharides as the vehicle for drug delivery systems and other biomedical applications has increased in recent decades. Their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and price are much cheaper than other materials. It is also renewable and available in massive amounts, which are the main reasons for its use in pharmaceutical applications. Gum can be easily functionalized with other natural polymers to enhance their applications. Various aspects of the utilization of natural gums in the forms of polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs) for drug delivery systems are discussed in this review. The application of different mathematical models were used to represent the drug release mechanisms from PECs; these models include a zero-order equation, first-order equation, Higuchi, simplified Higuchi, Korsmeyer–Peppas, and Peppas–Sahlin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Characterization of Nanocarriers for Drugs)
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Review
An Overview of Exosomes in Cancer Therapy: A Small Solution to a Big Problem
Processes 2020, 8(12), 1561; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pr8121561 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 630
Abstract
Exosomes are defined as a type of extracellular vesicle released when multivesicular bodies of the endocytic pathway fuse with the plasma membrane. They are characterized by their role in extracellular communication, partly due to their composition, and present the ability to recognize and [...] Read more.
Exosomes are defined as a type of extracellular vesicle released when multivesicular bodies of the endocytic pathway fuse with the plasma membrane. They are characterized by their role in extracellular communication, partly due to their composition, and present the ability to recognize and interact with cells from the immune system, enabling an immune response. Their targeting capability and nanosized dimensions make them great candidates for cancer therapy. As chemotherapy is associated with cytotoxicity and multiple drug resistance, the use of exosomes targeting capabilities, able to deliver anticancer drugs specifically to cancer cells, is a great approach to overcome these disadvantages. The objective is to assess treatment efficiency in reducing tumor cells, as well as overall safety and response by cancer carriers. So far, results show exosomes as a promising therapeutic strategy in the fight against cancer. This review summarizes the characteristics and composition of exosomes, as well as explaining in detail the involved parties in the origin of exosomes. Furthermore, some considerations about exosome application in immunotherapy are addressed. The main isolation and loading methods are described to give an insight into how exosomes can be obtained and manipulated. Finally, some therapeutic applications of exosomes in cancer therapy are described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Characterization of Nanocarriers for Drugs)
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