Self-emulsifying phospholipid pre-concentrates (SEPPs) for improved oral delivery of the anti-cancer genistein: Development, appraisal and ex-vivo intestinal permeation

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Genistein (GEN), a potent anticancer agent, suffers from scanty oral bioavailability due to poor solubility and extensive metabolism. This work endeavored to enhance GEN solubility and intestinal permeability via fabrication of self-emulsifying phospholipid pre-concentrates (SEPPs) using some bioactive surfactants. Moreover, the potential of surfactant-free SEPP to address GEN obstacles was investigated. SEPPs were prepared from Phosal® 53MCT, oil/phosphatidylcholine mixture, alone or with only 30% of different surfactant/co-surfactant mixture (S/CO). In-vitro characterization encompassed globule size analysis, zeta potential (ZP), transmission electron microscopy, and in-vitro release. Ex-vivo intestinal permeation study was performed using non-everted rat intestinal sac technique. Upon aqueous dilution, SEPPs were easily dispersed with spherical globules within a nano-range size (from 165 ± 15 to 425 ± 20 nm) and adequate negative ZP (>−30 mV). SEPPs demonstrated a significant enhancement in GEN release compared to drug suspension without superior effect due to added S/CO. Permeation study revealed that at least 12.13% free GEN was permeated after 120 min from SEPPs compared to only 3.7% from drug suspension. Among different SEPPs, SEPP containing 30% Tween 80/Transcutol HP mixture showed the highest GEN permeation (18.54%). Conclusively, SEPP might be a promising nanocarrier that enhances GEN bioavailability via improving dissolution and inhibition of pre-systemic clearance.

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