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Nanosizing of a poorly soluble drug: technique optimization, factorial analysis, and pharmacokinetic study in healthy human volunteers

Authors Elsayed I, Abdelbary A, Elshafeey A

Received 3 March 2014

Accepted for publication 31 March 2014

Published 17 June 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 2943—2953


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Ibrahim Elsayed,1 Aly Ahmed Abdelbary,1 Ahmed Hassen Elshafeey1,2

1Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; 2Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo, ON, Canada

Context: Diacerein (DCN) has low aqueous solubility (3.197 mg/L) and, consequently, low oral bioavailability (35%–56%). To increase both the solubility and dissolution rate of DCN while maintaining its crystalline nature, high pressure homogenization was used but with only a few homogenization cycles preceded by a simple bottom-up technique.
Methods: The nanosuspensions of DCN were prepared using a combined bottom-up/top-down technique. Different surfactants – polyvinyl alcohol, sodium deoxycholate, and sodium dodecyl sulfate – with different concentrations were used for the stabilization of the nanosuspensions. Full factorial experimental design was employed to investigate the influence of formulation variables on nanosuspension characteristics using Design-Expert® Software. Particle size (PS), zeta potential, saturation solubility, in vitro dissolution, and drug crystallinity were studied. Moreover, the in vivo performance of the optimized formula was assessed by bioavailability determination in healthy human volunteers.
Results: The concentration of surfactant had a significant effect on both the PS and polydispersity index values. The 1% surfactant concentration showed the lowest PS and polydispersity index values compared with other concentrations. Both type and concentration of surfactant had significant effects on the zeta potential. Formula F8 (containing 1% sodium deoxycholate) and Formula F12 (containing 1% sodium dodecyl sulfate) had the highest desirability values (0.952 and 0.927, respectively). Hence, they were selected for further characterization. The saturated solubility and mean dissolution time, in the case of F8 and F12, were significantly higher than the coarse drug powder. Techniques utilized in the nanocrystals’ preparation had no effect on DCN crystalline state. The selected formula (F12) showed a higher bioavailability compared to the reference market product with relative bioavailability of 131.4%.
Conclusion: The saturation solubility, in vitro dissolution rate and relative bioavailability of DCN were significantly increased after nanocrystallization. Less time and power consumption were applied by the combination of bottom-up and top-down techniques.

Keywords: nanocrystals, high pressure homogenization, diacerein, factorial analysis, pharmacokinetic study

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