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Hyaluronic Acid Conjugated Metformin-Phospholipid Sonocomplex: A Biphasic Complexation Approach to Correct Hypoxic Tumour Microenvironment

Authors Farag MM, Abd El Malak NS, Yehia SA, Ahmed MA

Received 17 December 2020

Accepted for publication 14 January 2021

Published 11 February 2021 Volume 2021:16 Pages 1005—1019


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Israel (Rudi) Rubinstein

Michael M Farag,1 Nevine S Abd El Malak,1,2 Soad A Yehia,1 Mohammed A Ahmed1,2

1Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; 2School of Pharmacy, New Giza University, Giza, Egypt

Correspondence: Michael M Farag
Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Kasr El-Aini Street, Cairo, 11562, Egypt
Tel +002-01228150250

Purpose: Development of hyaluronic acid conjugated metformin-phospholipid sonocomplexes (HA-MPS), a biphasic complexation product compiled for enhancing both the lipophilicity and targeting potential of Metformin (MET) to CD44 receptors on pancreatic cancer.
Methods: MET was chemically conjugated to hyaluronic acid (HA) via amide coupling reaction. Then, the HA conjugated MET was physically conjugated to Lipoid™S100 via ultrasound irradiation. A combined D-optimal design was implemented to statistically optimize formulation variables. The HA-MPS were characterized through solubility studies, partition coefficient, drug content uniformity, particle size and zeta potential. The optimized HA-MPS was tested via proton nuclear magnetic resonance, infrared spectroscopy to elucidate the nature of physicochemical interactions in the complex which was further scrutinized on molecular level via molecular docking and dynamic simulation.
Results: The solubility and partition studies showed a lipophilicity enhancement up to 67 folds as they adopted inverted micelles configuration based on the packing parameter hypothesis. The optimized HA-MPS showed 11.5 folds lower IC50, extra 25% reduction in oxygen consumption rate, better reduction in hypoxia-inducible factor and reactive oxygen species in MiaPaCa-2 cells.
Conclusion: These results proved better internalization of MET which was reflected by abolishing hypoxic tumour microenvironment, a mainstay toward a normoxic and less resistant pancreatic cancer.

Keywords: metformin, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, hypoxia-inducible factor, MiaPaCa-2, hyaluronic acid

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