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Novel ionically crosslinked casein nanoparticles for flutamide delivery: formulation, characterization, and in vivo pharmacokinetics

Authors Elzoghby AO, Helmy MW, Samy WM, Elgindy NA

Received 24 November 2012

Accepted for publication 10 January 2013

Published 3 May 2013 Volume 2013:8(1) Pages 1721—1732


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Ahmed O Elzoghby,1 Maged W Helmy,2 Wael M Samy,1,3 Nazik A Elgindy1

1Department of Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt; 2Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharos University, Alexandria, Egypt; 3Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Beirut Arab University, Beirut, Lebanon

Abstract: A novel particulate delivery matrix based on ionically crosslinked casein (CAS) nanoparticles was developed for controlled release of the poorly soluble anticancer drug flutamide (FLT). Nanoparticles were fabricated via oil-in-water emulsification then stabilized by ionic crosslinking of the positively charged CAS molecules below their isoelectric point, with the polyanionic crosslinker sodium tripolyphosphate. With the optimal preparation conditions, the drug loading and incorporation efficiency achieved were 8.73% and 64.55%, respectively. The nanoparticles exhibited a spherical shape with a size below 100 nm and a positive zeta potential (+7.54 to +17.3 mV). FLT was molecularly dispersed inside the nanoparticle protein matrix, as revealed by thermal analysis. The biodegradability of CAS nanoparticles in trypsin solution could be easily modulated by varying the sodium tripolyphosphate crosslinking density. A sustained release of FLT from CAS nanoparticles for up to 4 days was observed, depending on the crosslinking density. After intravenous administration of FLT-CAS nanoparticles into rats, CAS nanoparticles exhibited a longer circulation time and a markedly delayed blood clearance of FLT, with the half-life of FLT extended from 0.88 hours to 14.64 hours, compared with drug cosolvent. The results offer a promising method for tailoring biodegradable, drug-loaded CAS nanoparticles as controlled, long-circulating drug delivery systems of hydrophobic anticancer drugs in aqueous vehicles.

Keywords: casein nanoparticles, ionic crosslinking, biodegradability, controlled release, in vivo pharmacokinetics

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