Nanoprecipitation process: From encapsulation to drug delivery

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Abstract

Drugs encapsulation is a suitable strategy in order to cope with the limitations of conventional dosage forms such as unsuitable bioavailability, stability, taste, and odor. Nanoprecipitation technique has been used in the pharmaceutical and agricultural research as clean alternative for other drug carrier formulations. This technique is based on precipitation mechanism. Polymer precipitation occurs after the addition of a non-solvent to a polymer solution in four steps mechanism: supersaturation, nucleation, growth by condensation, and growth by coagulation that leads to the formation of polymer nanoparticles or aggregates. The scale-up of laboratory-based nanoprecipitation method shows a good reproducibility. In addition, flash nanoprecipitation is a good strategy for industrial scale production of nanoparticles. Nanoprecipitation is usually used for encapsulation of hydrophobic or hydrophilic compounds. Nanoprecipitation was also shown to be a good alternative for the encapsulation of natural compounds. As a whole, process and formulation related parameters in nanoprecipitation technique have critical effect on nanoparticles characteristics. Biodegradable or non-biodegradable polymers have been used for the preparation of nanoparticles intended to in vivo studies. Literature studies have demonstrated the biodistribution of the active loaded nanoparticles in different organs after administration via various routes. In general, in vitro drug release from nanoparticles prepared by nanoprecipitation includes two phases: a first phase of “burst release” which is followed by a second phase of prolonged release. Moreover, many encapsulated active molecules have been commercialized in the pharmaceutical market.

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