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Dexibuprofen nanocrystals with improved therapeutic performance: fabrication, characterization, in silico modeling, and in vivo evaluation

Authors Ullah N, Khan S, Ahmed S, Govender T, Faidah HS, de Matas M, Shahid M, Minhas MU, Sohail M, Khurram M

Received 13 September 2017

Accepted for publication 25 January 2018

Published 20 March 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 1677—1692


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Webster

Naseem Ullah,1 Shahzeb Khan,1 Shaimaa Ahmed,2 Thirumala Govender,2 Hani S Faidah,3 Marcel de Matas,4 Muhammad Shahid,5 Muhammad Usman Minhas,6 Muhammad Sohail,7 Muhammad Khurram8

1Department of Pharmacy, University of Malakand, Chakdara, Pakistan; 2Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; 3Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al Qura University, Makkah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 4SEDA Pharmaceutical Development Services, The BioHub at Alderley Park, Cheshire, UK; 5Department of Pharmacy, Sarhad University of Science and Information Technology, Peshawar, Pakistan; 6Faculty of Pharmacy and Alternative Medicine, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan; 7Department of Pharmacy, COMSATS, Abbottabad, Pakistan; 8Department of Pharmacy, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Sheringal, Pakistan

Background: The aim of this study was to prepare and evaluate the impact of polymers on fabricating stable dexibuprofen (Dexi) nanocrystals with enhanced therapeutic potential, using a low energy, anti-solvent precipitation method coupled with molecular modelling approach.
Methods: Dexi nanocrystals were prepared using antisolvent precipitation with syringe pump. Crystallinity of the processed Dexi particles was confirmed using differential scanning calorimetry and powdered X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. Dissolution of Dexi nanocrystals was compared with raw Dexi and marketed tablets. Molecular modelling study was coupled with experimental studies to rationalise the appropriate polymers for stable Dexi nanocrystals. Antinociceptive study was carried out using balb mice.
Results: Combinations of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC)–polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) and HPMC–Eudragit (EUD) were shown to be very effective in producing stable Dexi nanocrystals with particle sizes of 85.0±2.5 nm and 90±3.0 nm, and polydispersity of 0.179±0.01, 0.182±0.02, respectively. The stability studies conducted for 90 days demonstrated that nanocrystals stored at 2°C–8°C and 25°C were more stable than those at 40°C. The maximum recovery of Dexi nanocrystals was observed from the formulations using the combination of HPMC–PVP and HPMC–EUD, which equated to 98% and 94% of the nominal active drug content respectively. The saturation solubility of the Dexi nanocrystals was substantially increased to 270.0±3.5 µg/mL compared to the raw Dexi in water (51.0±2.0 µg/mL) and stabilizer solution (92.0±3.0 µg/mL). Enhanced dissolution rate (P<0.05) was observed for the Dexi nanocrystals compared to the unprocessed drug substance and marketed tablets. Dexi nanocrystals produced the analgesic effect at much lower doses (5 mg/kg) than that of control standard, diclofenac sodium (20 mg/kg) and Dexi counterparts (40 mg/kg).
Conclusion: HPMC-PVP and HPMC-EUD were found the best polymer combination to stabilise Dexi nanocrystals. The Dexi nanocrystals exhibited significant dissolution, solubility and analgesic effect compared to the raw Dexi and the control standard diclofenac sodium.

Keywords: dexibuprofen, nanocrystals, dissolution, antinociceptive activity, molecular modeling, stability

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