In vitroandin vivoevaluation of an oral sustained release hepatoprotective caffeine loaded w/o Pickering emulsion formula – Containing wheat germ oil and stabilized by magnesium oxide nanoparticles

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Graphical abstractThe objective of this study was to innovate an effective oral sustained release hepatoprotective formula for – the water soluble drug – caffeine. Caffeine is rapidly absorbed and eliminated which dictates frequent administration to achieve adequate therapeutic effect. A w/o Pickering emulsion incorporating caffeine in the internal phase was primed. It contained wheat germ oil and was stabilized by synthesized magnesium oxide nanoparticles (MgO NPs). Components selection was based on their antioxidant, hepatoprotective and anticarcinogenic effects. The MgO NPs were prepared via sol-gel method, and then were characterized using X-ray diffractometry, transmission electron microscopy, contact angle and cytotoxicity. The Pickering emulsion formula stabilized by MgO NPs (F1) was compared to another stabilized by conventional MgO particles (F2). Both were evaluated regarding droplet size, stability and caffeine release. F1 was stable against phase separation for a 2 months period. Its droplets mean size was 665.9 ± 90 nm. F1 afforded sustained release for caffeine that reached 70% within 48 h that followed zero order kinetics. 100 ppm of F1 showed nearly 36% growth inhibition of hepatocellular carcinoma (HEPG2). In vivo and histopathalogical evaluations were conducted on CCl4 intoxicated rats. Biochemical analysis for liver enzymes – (ALT and AST), oxidative stress biomarkers and the inflammation marker (protein kinase C) – revealed that the selected formula elicited significant hepatoprotection. This formula acted as an economical approach to multiple therapy and afforded safe effective sustained level for caffeine.

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