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Optimized zein nanospheres for improved oral bioavailability of atorvastatin

Authors Hashem F, Al-Sawahli M, Nasr M, Ahmed OAA

Received 4 March 2015

Accepted for publication 29 April 2015

Published 19 June 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 4059—4069


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster

Fahima M Hashem,1 Majid M Al-Sawahli,2 Mohamed Nasr,1 Osama AA Ahmed3,4

1Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Helwan University, Cairo, 2Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines, Giza, Egypt; 3Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; 4Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Minia University, Minia, Egypt

Background: This work focuses on the development of atorvastatin utilizing zein, a natural, safe, and biocompatible polymer, as a nanosized formulation in order to overcome the poor oral bioavailability (12%) of the drug.
Methods: Twelve experimental runs of atorvastatin–zein nanosphere formula were formulated by a liquid–liquid phase separation method according to custom fractional factorial design to optimize the formulation variables. The factors studied were: weight % of zein to atorvastatin (X1), pH (X2), and stirring time (X3). Levels for each formulation variable were designed. The selected dependent variables were: mean particle size (Y1), zeta potential (Y2), drug loading efficiency (Y3), drug encapsulation efficiency (Y4), and yield (Y5). The optimized formulation was assayed for compatibility using an X-ray diffraction assay. In vitro diffusion of the optimized formulation was carried out. A pharmacokinetic study was also done to compare the plasma profile of the atorvastatin–zein nanosphere formulation versus atorvastatin oral suspension and the commercially available tablet.
Results: The optimized atorvastatin–zein formulation had a mean particle size of 183 nm, a loading efficiency of 14.86%, and an encapsulation efficiency of 29.71%. The in vitro dissolution assay displayed an initial burst effect, with a cumulative amount of atorvastatin released of 41.76% and 82.3% after 12 and 48 hours, respectively. In Wistar albino rats, the bioavailability of atorvastatin from the optimized atorvastatin–zein formulation was 3-fold greater than that from the atorvastatin suspension and the commercially available tablet.
Conclusion: The atorvastatin–zein nanosphere formulation improved the oral delivery and pharmacokinetic profile of atorvastatin by enhancing its oral bioavailability.

Keywords: nanoparticles, optimization, experimental design, fractional factorial design

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