Spray-dried powders enhance vaginal siRNA delivery by potentially modulating the mucus molecular sieve structure.
ABSTRACT: Vaginal small interfering RNA (siRNA) delivery provides a promising strategy for the prevention and treatment of vaginal diseases. However, the densely cross-linked mucus layer on the vaginal wall severely restricts nanoparticle-mediated siRNA delivery to the vaginal epithelium. In order to overcome this barrier and enhance vaginal mucus penetration, we prepared spray-dried powders containing siRNA-loaded nanoparticles. Powders with Pluronic F127 (F127), hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC), and mannitol as carriers were obtained using an ultrasound-assisted spray-drying technique. Highly dispersed dry powders with diameters of 5-15 ?m were produced. These powders showed effective siRNA protection and sustained release. The mucus-penetrating properties of the powders differed depending on their compositions. They exhibited different potential of opening mesh size of molecular sieve in simulated vaginal mucus system. A powder formulation with 0.6% F127 and 0.1% HPMC produced the maximum increase in the pore size of the model gel used to simulate vaginal mucus by rapidly extracting water from the gel and interacting with the gel; the resulting modulation of the molecular sieve effect achieved a 17.8-fold improvement of siRNA delivery in vaginal tract and effective siRNA delivery to the epithelium. This study suggests that powder formulations with optimized compositions have the potential to alter the steric barrier posed by mucus and hold promise for effective vaginal siRNA delivery.
Project description:Mucosal drug delivery nanotechnologies are limited by the mucus barrier that protects nearly all epithelial surfaces not covered with skin. Most polymeric nanoparticles, including polystyrene nanoparticles (PS), strongly adhere to mucus, thereby limiting penetration and facilitating rapid clearance from the body. Here, we demonstrate that PS rapidly penetrate human cervicovaginal mucus (CVM), if the CVM has been pretreated with sufficient concentrations of Pluronic F127. Importantly, the diffusion rate of large polyethylene glycol (PEG)-coated, nonmucoadhesive nanoparticles (PS-PEG) did not change in F127-pretreated CVM, implying that F127 did not significantly alter the native pore structure of CVM. Additionally, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) remains adherent in F127-pretreated CVM, indicating that the presence of F127 did not reduce adhesive interactions between CVM and the virions. In contrast to treatment with a surfactant that has been approved for vaginal use as a spermicide (nonoxynol-9 or N9), there was no increase in inflammatory cytokine release in the vaginal tract of mice after daily application of 1% F127 for 1 week. Pluronic F127 pretreatment holds potential as a method to safely improve the distribution, retention, and efficacy of nanoparticle formulations without compromising CVM barrier properties to pathogens.
Project description:Nucleic acids have the potential to be used as therapies or vaccines for many different types of disease, but delivery remains the most significant challenge to their clinical adoption. pH responsive peptides containing either histidine or derivatives of 2,3-diaminopropionic acid (Dap) can mediate effective DNA transfection in lung epithelial cells with the latter remaining effective even in the presence of lung surfactant containing bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), making this class of peptides attractive candidates for delivering nucleic acids to lung tissues. To further assess the suitability of pH responsive peptides for pulmonary delivery by inhalation, dry powder formulations of pH responsive peptides and plasmid DNA, with mannitol as carrier, were produced by either spray drying (SD) or spray freeze drying (SFD). The properties of the two types of powders were characterised and compared using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), next generation impactor (NGI), gel retardation and in vitro transfection via a twin stage impinger (TSI) following aerosolisation by a dry powder inhaler (Osmohaler™). Although the aerodynamic performance and transfection efficacy of both powders were good, the overall performance revealed SD powders to have a number of advantages over SFD powders and are the more effective formulation with potential for efficient nucleic acid delivery through inhalation.
Project description:The therapeutic potential of small nucleic acids such as small interfering RNA (siRNA) to treat lung diseases has been successfully demonstrated in many in vivo studies. A major barrier to their clinical application is the lack of a safe and efficient inhaled formulation. In this study, spray freeze drying was employed to prepare dry powder of small nucleic acids. Mannitol and herring sperm DNA were used as bulking agent and model of small nucleic acid therapeutics, respectively. Formulations containing different solute concentration and DNA concentration were produced. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) images showed that the porosity of the particles increased as the solute concentration decreased. Powders prepared with solute concentration of 5% w/v were found to maintain a balance between porosity and robustness. Increasing concentration of DNA improved the aerosol performance of the formulation. The dry powder formulation containing 2% w/w DNA had a median diameter of 12.5?µm, and the aerosol performance study using next generation impactor (NGI) showed an emitted fraction (EF) and fine particle fraction (FPF) of 91% and 28% respectively. This formulation (5% w/v solute concentration and 2% w/w nucleic acid) was adopted subsequently to produce siRNA powder. The gel retardation and liquid chromatography assays showed that the siRNA remained intact after spray freeze drying even in the absence of delivery vector. The siRNA powder formulation exhibited a high EF of 92.4% and a modest FPF of around 20%. Further exploration of this technology to optimise inhaled siRNA powder formulation is warranted.
Project description:Self-nanoemulsifying systems (SNEs) have excellent ability to improve the solubility of poorly water-soluble drugs (PWSD). However, SNEs are likely to be degraded in gastrointestinal (GIT) when their surface is recognized by lipase/co-lipase enzyme complex, resulting in rapid release and precipitation of encapsulated drugs. The precipitates are then captured and removed by intestinal mucus, reducing the delivery efficacy of SNEs. Herein, the amphiphilic polymer Pluronic® F127 was incorporated into long and short-chain triglycerides (LCT, SCT) based SNEs to diminish the recognition and therefore minimized their degradation by enzymes and clearance by mucus. The SNEs were characterized in terms of particle size, zeta potential and stability. Ex vivo multiple particles tracking studies were performed by adding particle solution into fresh rat mucus. Cellular uptake of SNEs were conducted by using E12 cells, the absorption and distribution in small intestine were also studied after oral administration in male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. The in vitro digestion rate of SNEs were found to be in following order SCT-SNE?>?SCT-F127-SNE?>?LCT-SNE?>?LCT-F127-SNE. Moreover, the LCT-F127-SNE was found to be most effective in enhancing cellular uptake, resulting in 3.5-fold, 2.1-fold and 1.7-fold higher than that of SCT-SNE, LCT-SNE and SCT-F127-SNE, respectively. After incubating the SNE with E12 cells, the LCT-F127-SNE exhibited the highest amount regarding both mucus penetration and cellular uptake, with an uptake amount number (via bicinchoninic acid (BCA) analysis) of 3.5-fold, 2.1-fold and 1.7-fold higher than that of SCT-SNE, LCT-SNE and SCT-F127-SNE, respectively. The in vivo results revealed that orally administered LCT-F127-SNE could significantly increase the bioavailability of Cyclosporine A (CsA), which was approximately 2.43-fold, 1.33-fold and 1.80-fold higher than that of SCT-SNE, SCT-F127-SNE and LCT-SNE, respectively. We address in this work that F127-modified SNEs have potentials to improve oral drug absorption by significantly reducing gastrointestinal enzymatic degradation and simultaneously enhancing mucus penetration.
Project description:Lack of mucoadhesive properties is the major drawback to poloxamer 407 (F127)-based in situ hydrogels for mucosal administration. The objective of the present study was to construct a novel mucoadhesive and thermosensitive in situ hydrogel drug delivery system based on an amino-functionalized poloxamer for vaginal administration. First, amino-functionalized poloxamer 407 (F127-NH2) was synthesized and characterized with respect to its micellization behavior and interaction with mucin. Then using acetate gossypol (AG) as model drug, AG-loaded F127-NH2-based in situ hydrogels (NFGs) were evaluated with respect to rheology, drug release, ex vivo vaginal mucosal adhesion, in vivo intravaginal retention and local irritation after vaginal administration to healthy female mice. The results show that F127-NH2 is capable of forming a thermosensitive in situ hydrogel with sustained drug release properties. An interaction between positively charged F127-NH2 and negatively charged mucin was revealed by changes in the particle size and zeta potential of mucin particles as well as an increase in the complex modulus of NFG caused by mucin. Ex vivo and in vivo fluorescence imaging and quantitative analysis of the amount of AG remaining in mouse vaginal lavage all demonstrated greater intravaginal retention of NFG than that of an unmodified F127-based in situ hydrogel. In conclusion, amino group functionalization confers valuable mucoadhesive properties on poloxamer 407.
Project description:The present study evaluates the effect of L-leucine concentration and operating parameters of a laboratory spray dryer on characteristics of trehalose dry powders, with the goal of optimizing production of these powders for inhaled drug delivery. Trehalose/L-leucine mixtures were spray dried from aqueous solution using a laboratory spray dryer. A factorial design of experiment (DoE) was undertaken and process parameters adjusted were: inlet temperature, gas flow rate, feed solution flow rate (pump setting), aspiration setting and L-leucine concentration. Resulting powders were characterised in terms of particle size, yield, residual moisture content, and glass transition temperature. Particle size was mainly influenced by gas flow rate, whereas product yield and residual moisture content were found to be primarily affected by inlet temperature and spray solution feed rate respectively. Interactions between a number of different process parameters were elucidated, as were relationships between different responses. The leucine mass ratio influenced the physical stability of powders against environmental humidity, and a high leucine concentration (30% w/w) protected amorphous trehalose from moisture induced crystallization. High weight ratio of leucine in the formulation, however, negatively impacted the aerosol performance. Thus, in terms of L-leucine inclusion in a formulation designed for pulmonary delivery, a balance needs to be found between physical stability and deposition characteristics.
Project description:Pulmonary delivery of biopharmaceuticals may enable targeted local therapeutic effect and noninvasive systemic administration. Dry powder inhaler (DPI) delivery is an established patient-friendly approach for delivering large molecules to the lungs; however, the complexities of balancing protein stability with aerosol performance require that the design space of biopharmaceutical DPI formulations is rigorously explored. Utilizing four rationally selected formulations obtained using identical atomization conditions, an extensive study of the effect of the particle formation process (spray drying or spray freeze-drying) on powder properties, aerosol performance, and protein stability was performed. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to understand the relationship between powder properties, device dispersion mechanism, and aerosol performance. Spray drying and spray freeze-drying, despite the same spraying conditions, produced powders with vastly different physical characteristics, though similar aerosol performance. The resulting regression model points to the significance of particle size, density, and surface properties on the resulting aerosol performance, with these factors weighing differently according to the device dispersion mechanism utilized (shear-based or impaction-based). The physical properties of the produced spray dried and spray freeze-dried powders have differing implications for long-term stability, which will be explored extensively in a future study.
Project description:While the formulation of nanoparticle (NP) suspensions has been widely applied in materials and life science, the recovery of NPs from such a suspension into a solid state is practically important to confer long-term storage stability. However, solidification, while preserving the original nanoscale properties, remains a formidable challenge in the pharmaceutical and biomedical applications of NPs. Herein we combined flash nanoprecipitation (FNP) and spray-drying as a nanofabrication platform for NP formulation and recovery without compromising the dissolution kinetics of the active ingredient. Clofazimine was chosen to be the representative drug, which has been recently repurposed as a potential treatment for cryptosporidiosis. Clofazimine was encapsulated in NPs with low-cost surface coatings, hypromellose acetate succinate (HPMCAS) and lecithin, which were required by the ultimate application to global health. Spray-drying and lyophilization were utilized to produce dried powders with good long-term storage stability for application in hot and humid climatic zones. The particle morphology, yield efficiency, drug loading, and clofazimine crystallinity in the spray-dried powders were characterized. The in vitro release kinetics of spray-dried NP powders were compared to analogous dissolution profiles from standard lyophilized NP samples, crystalline clofazimine powder, and the commercially available formulation Lamprene. The spray-dried powders showed a supersaturation level of up to 60 times the equilibrium solubility and remarkably improved dissolution rates. In addition, the spray-dried powders with both surface coatings showed excellent stability during aging studies with elevated temperature and humidity, in view of the dissolution and release in vitro. Considering oral delivery for pediatric administration, the spray-dried powders show less staining effects with simulated skin than crystalline clofazimine and may be made into minitablets without additional excipients. These results highlight the potential of combining FNP and spray-drying as a feasible and versatile platform to design and rapidly recover amorphous NPs in a solid dosage form, with the advantages of satisfactory long-term storage stability, low cost, and easy scalability.
Project description:Coal is still a major energy source, mostly used in power plants. However, the coal combustion emits harmful SO2 and fly ash. Wet flue gas desulfurization (WFGD) technology is extensively used to control SO2 emissions in power plants. However, only limited studies have investigated the synergistic dust removal by the WFGD system. Spray scrubbers and sieve-tray spray scrubbers are often used in WFGD systems to improve the SO2 removal efficiency. In this study, the synergistic dust removal of WFGD systems for a spray scrubber and a sieve-tray spray scrubber was investigated using the experimental and modelling approaches, respectively. For the spray scrubber, the influence of parameters, including dust particle diameters and inlet concentrations of dust particles, and the flow rates of flue gas and slurry of limestone/gypsum on the dust removal efficiency, was investigated. For the sieve-tray spray scrubber, the influence of parameters such as the pore diameter and porosity of sieve trays on the dust removal efficiency was examined. The study found that the dust removal efficiency in the sieve-tray spray scrubber was approximately 1.1-10.6% higher than that of the spray scrubber for the same experimental conditions. Based on the parameters investigated and geometric parameters of a scrubber, a novel droplets swarm model for dust removal efficiency was developed from the single droplet model. The enhanced dust removal efficiency of sieve tray was expressed by introducing a strength coefficient to an inertial collision model. The dust removal efficiency model for the sieve-tray spray scrubber was developed by combining the droplets swarm model for the spray scrubber with the modified inertial collision model for the sieve tray. The results simulated using both models are consistent with the experimental data obtained.
Project description:Incomplete coverage and short duration of action limit the effectiveness of vaginally administered drugs, including microbicides, for preventing sexually transmitted infections. We investigated vaginal distribution, retention, and safety of nanoparticles with surfaces modified to enhance transport through mucus. We show that mucus-penetrating particles (MPPs) provide uniform distribution over the vaginal epithelium, whereas conventional nanoparticles (CPs) that are mucoadhesive are aggregated by mouse vaginal mucus, leading to poor distribution. Moreover, when delivered hypotonically, MPPs were transported advectively (versus diffusively) through mucus deep into vaginal folds (rugae) within minutes. By penetrating into the deepest mucus layers, more MPPs were retained in the vaginal tract after 6 hours compared to CPs. After 24 hours, when delivered in a conventional vaginal gel, patches of a model drug remained on the vaginal epithelium, whereas the epithelium was coated with drug delivered by MPPs. We then developed MPPs composed of acyclovir monophosphate (ACVp). When administered before vaginal herpes simplex virus 2 challenge, ACVp-MPPs protected 53% of mice compared to only 16% protected by soluble drug. Overall, MPPs improved vaginal drug distribution and retention, provided more effective protection against vaginal viral challenge than soluble drug, and were nontoxic when administered daily for 1 week.