Drug release studies from lipid nanoparticles in physiological media by a new DSC method

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Graphical abstractLipid nanoparticles are an interesting parenteral delivery system for poorly water-soluble drugs. In order to approach physiological conditions when conducting release studies from such systems the release media should preferentially contain lipophilic acceptor compartments such as lipoproteins or other colloidal lipophilic components. In practice, drug release studies under such close to physiological conditions may be complicated by the small size of lipid nanoparticles, which is in the same range as that of the potential acceptor particles. This study describes a novel differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) method for drug release measurements which works without separation of donor and acceptor particles. The technique is based on measuring the crystallization temperature of trimyristin nanoparticles by DSC. The crystallization temperature of the nanoparticles decreases proportionally with the amount of active ingredient incorporated and thus increases as a result of drug release. Liquid trimyristin nanoparticles loaded with fenofibrate, orlistat, tocopherol acetate and ubidecarenone were studied in three different release media with increasing complexity and comparability to physiological conditions: a rapeseed oil nanoemulsion, porcine serum and porcine blood. Using the new method, a correlation between release behavior and drug lipophilicity was observed: the higher the logP value of the drug, the slower the release. The extent of drug release was influenced by partition equilibrium as indicated by increased drug release in the rapeseed oil nanoemulsion compared to porcine serum and blood.

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