Development and characterization of crosslinked hyaluronic acid polymeric films for use in coating processes

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The aim of this work was to develop and characterize new hyaluronic acid-based responsive materials for film coating of solid dosage forms. Crosslinking of hyaluronic acid with trisodium trimetaphosphate was performed under controlled alkaline aqueous environment. The films were produced through casting process by mixing crosslinked or bare biopolymer in aqueous dispersion of ethylcellulose, at different proportions. Films were further characterized regarding morphology by scanning electron microscopy, robustness by permeation to water vapor transmission, and ability to hydrate in simulated gastric and intestinal physiological fluids. The safety and biocompatibility of films were assessed against Caco-2 and HT29-MTX intestinal cells. The permeation to water vapor transmission was favored by increasing hyaluronic acid content in the final formulation. When in simulated gastric fluid, films exhibited lower hydration ability compared to more extensive hydration in simulated intestinal fluids. Simultaneously, in simulated intestinal fluids, films partially lost weight, revealing ability for preventing drug release at gastric pH, but tailoring the release at higher intestinal pH. The physiochemical characterization suggests thermal stability of films and physical interaction between compounds of formulation. Lastly, cytotoxicity tests demonstrated that films and individual components of the formulations, when incubated for 4 h, were safe for intestinal cells Overall, these evidences suggest that hyaluronic acid-based responsive films, applied as coating material of oral solid dosage forms, can prevent the premature release of drugs in harsh stomach conditions, but control the release it in gastrointestinal tract distal portion, assuring safety to intestinal mucosa.

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