Realgar nanoparticle-based microcapsules: preparation and in-vitro/in-vivo characterizations

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Abstract

Objectives

The aim of this study was to prepare microcapsules for the oral delivery of realgar nanoparticles (RN) that are also capable of improving its stability.

Methods

RN and RN-based microcapsules (RNM) were prepared using ball milling and solvent evaporation techniques, respectively. Properties such as particle size, ζ-potential (ZP), morphology and X-ray diffractometer (XRD) were investigated. In addition, drug release, bioavailability and antitumour studies were also performed.

Key findings

The nanoparticles appeared round or elliptical in shape with a mean size of 85.4 ± 3.5 nm and a ZP of −34.3 ± 1.7 mV. The obtained RNM appeared spherical and not aggregated with a relatively narrow size distribution. XRD analysis revealed that ball milling technique did not change the crystallinity of the realgar powder. RN and RNM exhibited considerable higher release of As2S2, bioavailability and antitumour efficacies compared with crude realgar. Furthermore, RNM could protect RN directly exposed to the air and light, and therefore increased the stability of the RN.

Conclusions

The developed RNM demonstrated a greater potential as a delivery system for realgar.

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