New inhalation-optimized itraconazole nanoparticle-based dry powders for the treatment of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis
Christophe Duret,1 Nathalie Wauthoz,1 Thami Sebti,2 Francis Vanderbist,2 Karim Amighi1
1Laboratoire de Pharmacie Galénique et de Biopharmacie, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium; 2SMB Laboratoires, Brussels, Belgium
Purpose: Itraconazole (ITZ) dry powders for inhalation (DPI) composed of nanoparticles (NP) embedded in carrier microparticles were prepared and characterized.
Methods: DPIs were initially produced by reducing the ITZ particle size to the nanometer range using high-pressure homogenization with tocopherol polyethylene 1000 succinate (TPGS, 10% w/w ITZ) as a stabilizer. The optimized nanosuspension and the initial microsuspension were then spray-dried with different proportions of or in the absence of mannitol and/or sodium taurocholate. DPI characterization was performed using scanning electron microscopy for morphology, laser diffraction to evaluate the size-reduction process, and the size of the dried NP when reconstituted in aqueous media, impaction studies using a multistage liquid impactor to determine the aerodynamic performance and fine-particle fraction that is theoretically able to reach the lung, and dissolution studies to determine the solubility of ITZ.
Results: Scanning electron microscopy micrographs showed that the DPI particles were composed of mannitol microparticles with embedded nano- or micro-ITZ crystals. The formulations prepared from the nanosuspension exhibited good flow properties and better fine-particle fractions, ranging from 46.2% ± 0.5% to 63.2% ± 1.7% compared to the 23.1% ± 0.3% that was observed with the formulation produced from the initial microsuspension. Spray-drying affected the NP size by inducing irreversible aggregation, which was able to be minimized by the addition of mannitol and sodium taurocholate before the drying procedure. The ITZ NP-based DPI considerably increased the ITZ solubility (58 ± 2 increased to 96 ± 1 ng/mL) compared with that of raw ITZ or an ITZ microparticle-based DPI (<10 ng/mL).
Conclusion: Embedding ITZ NP in inhalable microparticles is a very effective method to produce DPI formulations with optimal aerodynamic properties and enhanced ITZ solubility. These formulations could be applied to other poorly water-soluble drugs and could be a very effective alternative for treating invasive pulmonary aspergillosis.
Keywords: aspergillosis, spray-drying, homogenization, inhalation, saturation, solubility
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