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Sulfonate-modified phenylboronic acid-rich nanoparticles as a novel mucoadhesive drug delivery system for vaginal administration of protein therapeutics: improved stability, mucin-dependent release and effective intravaginal placement

Authors Li CY, Huang ZG, Liu ZS, Ci LQ, Liu ZP, Liu Y, Yan XY, Lu WY

Received 26 May 2016

Accepted for publication 11 August 2016

Published 10 November 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 5917—5930


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

ChunYan Li,1 ZhiGang Huang,2 ZheShuo Liu,1 LiQian Ci,3 ZhePeng Liu,3 Yu Liu,2 XueYing Yan,1 WeiYue Lu2

1School of Pharmacy, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin, 2Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Key Laboratory of Smart Drug Delivery, Ministry of Education, Fudan University, 3School of Medical Instrument and Food Engineering, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Effective interaction between mucoadhesive drug delivery systems and mucin is the basis of effective local placement of drugs to play its therapeutic role after mucosal administration including vaginal use, which especially requires prolonged drug presence for the treatment of gynecological infectious diseases. Our previous report on phenylboronic acid-rich nanoparticles (PBNPs) demonstrated their strong interaction with mucin and mucin-sensitive release profiles of the model protein therapeutics interferon (IFN) in vitro, but their poor stability and obvious tendency to aggregate over time severely limited future application. In this study, sulfonate-modified PBNPs (PBNP-S) were designed as a stable mucoadhesive drug delivery system where the negative charges conferred by sulfonate groups prevented aggregation of nanoparticles and the phenylboronic acid groups ensured effective interaction with mucin over a wide pH range. Results suggested that PBNP-S were of spherical morphology with narrow size distribution (123.5 nm, polydispersity index 0.050), good stability over a wide pH range and 3-month storage and considerable in vitro mucoadhesion capability at vaginal pH as shown by mucin adsorption determination. IFN could be loaded to PBNP-S by physical adsorption with high encapsulation efficiency and released in a mucin-dependent manner in vitro. In vivo near-infrared fluorescent whole animal imaging and quantitative vaginal lavage followed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) assay of IFN demonstrated that PBNP-S could stay in the vagina and maintain intravaginal IFN level for much longer time than IFN solution (24 hours vs several hours) without obvious histological irritation to vaginal mucosa after vaginal administration to mice. In summary, good stability, easy loading and controllable release of protein therapeutics, in vitro and in vivo mucoadhesive properties and local safety of PBNP-S suggested it as a promising nanoscale mucoadhesive drug delivery system for vaginal administration of protein therapeutics.

Keywords: mucoadhesion, phenylboronic acid, stability, controlled-release, protein therapeutics, nanoparticles

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