Development of semisolid self-microemulsifying drug delivery systems (SMEDDSs) filled in hard capsules for oral delivery of aciclovir

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The study aimed to develop semisolid self-microemulsifying drug delivery systems (SMEDDSs) as carriers for oral delivery of aciclovir in hard hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose (HPMC) capsules. Six self-dispersing systems (SD1-SD6) were prepared by loading aciclovir into the semisolid formulations consisting of medium chain length triglycerides (lipid), macrogolglycerol hydroxystearate (surfactant), polyglyceryl-3-dioleate (cosurfactant), glycerol (hydrophilic cosolvent), and macrogol 8000 (viscosity modifier). Their characterization was performed in order to identify the semisolid system with rheological behaviour suitable for filling in hard HPMC capsules and fast dispersibility in acidic and alkaline aqueous media with formation of oil-in-water microemulsions. The optimal SMEDDS was loaded with aciclovir at two levels (2% and 33.33%) and morphology and aqueous dispersibility of the obtained systems were examined by applying light microscopy and photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS), respectively. The assessment of diffusivity of aciclovir from the SMEDDSs by using an enhancer cell model, showed that it was increased at a higher drug loading. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis indicated that the SMEDDSs were semisolids at temperatures up to 50 °C and physically stable and compatible with HPMC capsules for 3 months storage at 25 °C and 4 °C. The results of in vitro release study revealed that the designed solid dosage form based on the semisolid SMEDDS loaded with the therapeutic dose of 200 mg, may control partitioning of the solubilized drug from in situ formed oil-in-water microemulsion carrier into the sorrounding aqueous media, and hence decrease the risk for precipitation of the drug.

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