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Natamycin solid lipid nanoparticles – sustained ocular delivery system of higher corneal penetration against deep fungal keratitis: preparation and optimization

Authors Khames A, Khaleel MA, El-Badawy MF, El-Nezhawy AOH

Received 11 October 2018

Accepted for publication 22 February 2019

Published 8 April 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 2515—2531


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Govarthanan Muthusamy

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Anderson Oliveira Lobo

Ahmed Khames,1,2 Mohammad A Khaleel,3 Mohamed F El-Badawy,4,5 Ahmed OH El-Nezhawy6,7

1Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Taif University, Taif 21974, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef 62521, Egypt; 3Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Penang 11800, Malaysia; 4Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Misr University for Science and Technology, Cairo, Egypt; 5Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, College of Pharmacy, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia; 6Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia; 7Department of Chemistry of Natural and Microbial Products, National Research Center, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt

Background: Fungal keratitis (FK) is a serious pathogenic condition usually associated with significant ocular morbidity. Natamycin (NAT) is the first-line and only medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of FK. However, NAT suffers from poor corneal penetration, which limits its efficacy for treating deep keratitis.
Purpose: The objective of this work was to prepare NAT solid lipid nanoparticles (NAT-SLNs) to achieve sustained drug release and increased corneal penetration.
Methods: NAT-SLNs were prepared using the emulsification-ultrasonication technique. Box–Behnken experimental design was applied to optimize the effects of independent processing variables (lipid concentration [X1], surfactant concentration [X2], and sonication frequency [X3]) on particle size (R1), zeta potential (ZP; R2), and drug entrapment efficiency (EE%) (R3) as responses. Drug release profile, ex vivo corneal permeation, antifungal susceptibility, and cytotoxicity of the optimized formula were evaluated.
Results: The optimized formula had a mean particle size of 42 r.nm (radius in nanometers), ZP of 26 mV, and EE% reached ~85%. NAT-SLNs showed an extended drug release profile of 10 hours, with enhanced corneal permeation in which the apparent permeability coefficient (Papp) and steady-state flux (Jss) reached 11.59×10-2 cm h-1 and 3.94 mol h-1, respectively, in comparison with 7.28×10-2 cm h-1 and 2.48 mol h-1 for the unformulated drug, respectively. Antifungal activity was significantly improved, as indicated by increases in the inhibition zone of 8 and 6 mm against Aspergillus fumigatus ATCC 1022 and a Candida albicans clinical isolate, respectively, and minimum inhibitory concentration values that were decreased 2.5-times against both of these pathogenic strains. NAT-SLNs were found to be non-irritating to corneal tissue. NAT-SLNs had a prolonged drug release rate, that improved corneal penetration, and increased antifungal activity without cytotoxic effects on corneal tissues.
Conclusion: Thus, NAT-SLNs represent a promising ocular delivery system for treatment of deep corneal keratitis.

Keywords: Natamycin, solid lipid nanoparticles, fungal keratitis, Box–Behnken design, ocular drug delivery, corneal permeation

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