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Nanoemulsion improves the oral bioavailability of baicalin in rats: in vitro and in vivo evaluation

Authors Zhao L, Wei Y, Huang Y, He B, Zhou Y, Fu J, Ye Y, Lan Y, Zheng W, Liu H

Received 15 July 2013

Accepted for publication 6 August 2013

Published 2 October 2013 Volume 2013:8(1) Pages 3769—3779

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S51578

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Ling Zhao,1,2 Yumeng Wei,1,2 Yu Huang,1 Bing He,2 Yang Zhou,1 Junjiang Fu3

1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Luzhou Medical College, Luzhou City, Sichuan Province, People's Republic of China; 2Drug and Functional Food Research Center, Luzhou Medical College, Luzhou City, Sichuan Province, People's Republic of China; 3The Research Center for Preclinical Medicine, Luzhou Medical College, Luzhou City, Sichuan Province, People's Republic of China

Abstract: Baicalin is one of the main bioactive flavone glucuronides derived as a medicinal herb from the dried roots of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, and it is widely used for the treatment of fever, inflammation, and other conditions. Due to baicalin's poor solubility in water, its absolute bioavailability after oral administration is only 2.2%. The objective of this study was to develop a novel baicalin-loaded nanoemulsion to improve the oral bioavailability of baicalin. Based on the result of pseudoternary phase diagram, the nanoemulsion formulation consisting of soy-lecithin, tween-80, polyethylene glycol 400, isopropyl myristate, and water (1:2:1.5:3.75:8.25, w/w) was selected for further study. Baicalin-loaded nanoemulsions (BAN-1 and BAN-2) were prepared by internal or external drug addition and in vivo and in vitro evaluations were performed. The results showed that the mean droplet size, polydispersity index, and drug content of BAN-1 and BAN-2 were 91.2 ± 2.36 nm and 89.7 ± 3.05 nm, 0.313 ± 0.002 and 0.265 ± 0.001, and 98.56% ± 0.79% and 99.40% ± 0.51%, respectively. Transmission electron microscopy revealed spherical globules and confirmed droplet size analysis. After dilution 30-fold with water, the solubilization capacity of BAN-1 and BAN-2 did not change. In vitro release results showed sustained-release characteristics. BAN-1 formulation was stable for at least 6 months and was more stable than BAN-2. In rats, the area under the plasma drug concentration-time curve value of BAN-1 was 1.8-fold and 7-fold greater than those of BAN-2 and free baicalin suspension after oral administration at a dose of 100 mg/kg. In conclusion, these results demonstrated that the baicalin-loaded nanoemulsion formulation, in particular BAN-1, was very effective for improving the oral bioavailability of baicalin and exhibited great potential for future clinical application.

Keywords: nanoemulsion, baicalin, oral bioavailability, pharmacokinetics

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