Engineering poly(ethylene oxide) buccal films with cyclodextrin: A novel role for an old excipient?

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Inspired by the multiple roles cyclodextrins can play in polymeric systems, here we engineered poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) films with (2-hydroxypropyl)-β-cyclodextrin (CD) as multipurpose ingredient. To shed light on the potential of CD in formulating PEO buccal films for the delivery of poorly water-soluble drugs, we preliminarily assessed thermal and mechanical properties as well as wettability of films prepared at different PEO/CD ratios. PEO/CD platform containing 54% by weight of CD was chosen as the optimized composition since it matched acceptable mechanical properties, in terms of tensile strength and elasticity, with a good wettability. The platform was tested as buccal delivery system for triamcinolone acetonide (TrA), a lipophilic synthetic corticosteroid sparely water soluble. Confocal Raman imaging clearly showed that CD was homogeneously (i.e. molecularly) dispersed in PEO. Nevertheless, homogenous drug distribution in the film without TrA crystallization occurred only in the presence of CD. Finally, CD-containing PEO film placed in simulated buccal fluids provided a useful speed-up of TrA release rate while showing slower dissolution as compared to PEO film. These results, as well as compliance with quality specifications of pharmaceutical manufacturing products, strongly support the soundness of the strategy and prompt toward further applications of PEO/CD films in buccal drug delivery.

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