Advancing fibrous delivery systems for pharmaceutics

Recently published research articles

Melt-blown and electrospun drug-loaded polymer fiber mats for dissolution enhancement: A comparative study

Melt blowing (MB) was investigated to prepare a fast dissolving fibrous drug-loaded solid dispersion and compared with solvent-based electrospinning (SES) and melt electrospinning (MES). As a conventional solvent-free technique coupled with melt extrusion (EX) and using a high speed gas stream, MB can provide high quality micro- and nanofibers at industrial throughput levels. Carvedilol, a weak-base model drug with poor water solubility, was processed using a common composition optimized for the fiber spinning and blowing methods based on a hydrophilic vinylpyrrolidone-vinyl acetate copolymer (PVPVA64) and PEG 3000 plasticizer. Scanning electron microscopy combined with fiber diameter analysis showed diameter distributions characteristic to each prepared fibrous fabrics (the mean value increased towards SES<MB<MES). Differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction studies revealed that the incorporated drug was in amorphous form regardless the preparation method. The HPLC studies demonstrated that all of the materials produced by the different techniques passed the regulatory purity requirements. The fibers exhibited ultrafast drug release tested under neutral pH conditions, the melt blown sample dissolved within 2 minutes owing to its large specific surface area. The presented results confirm the applicability of MB as a novel formulation technique for polymer-based drug delivery systems.

Electroblowing and electrospinning of fibrous diclofenac sodium-cyclodextrin complex-based reconstitution injection

Electrospinning, electroblowing and freeze-drying were investigated to prepare fast dissolving cyclodextrin-based drug-loaded solid complexes. Combining the huge surface area of fibrous mats with the capabilities of cyclodextrins to prepare a reconstitution injection was tested to overcome the instability of liquid-based products. Diclofenac sodium was used as drug with limited water solubility and 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPβCD) as carrier and solubilizer. The applied composition of the complex was determined based on phase solubility measurements. In order to resolve the frequent unavoidable interruption of the fiber formation during electrospinning from the HPβCD solution, high-speed blowing air was coupled with the electrostatic force (electroblowing) to draw polymer-free HPβCD fibers steadily, moreover, at increased flow rates. According to the scanning electron microscopic images, X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry no traces of crystallinity of the drug were detectable in the fibers as opposed to the freeze-dried product. Reconstitution tests of the fibers showed fast dissolution obtaining clear solutions equivalent to a marketed liquid-based bolus injection. The results demonstrate the first time the viability of electroblowing for preparing drug delivery systems.

High speed electrospinning for scaled-up production of amorphous solid dispersion of itraconazole

High speed electrospinning (HSES), compatible with pharmaceutical industry, was used to demonstrate the viability of the preparation of drug-loaded polymer nanofibers with radically higher productivity than the known single-needle electrospinning (SNES) setup. Poorly water-soluble itraconazole (ITRA) was formulated with PVPVA64 matrix polymer using four different solvent-based methods such as HSES, SNES, spray drying (SD) and film casting (FC). The formulations were assessed in terms of improvement in the dissolution rate of ITRA (using a "tapped basket" dissolution configuration) and analysed by SEM, DSC and XRPD. Despite the significantly increased productivity of HSES, the obtained morphology was very similar to the SNES nanofibrous material. ITRA transformed into an amorphous form, according to the DSC and XRPD results, in most cases except the FC samples. The limited dissolution of crystalline ITRA could be highly improved: fast dissolution occurred (>90% within 10 min) in the cases of both (the scaled-up and the single-needle) types of electrospun fibers, while the improvement in the dissolution rate of the spray-dried microspheres was significantly lower. Production of amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) with the HSES system proved to be flexibly scalable and easy to integrate into a continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing line, which opens new routes for the development of industrially relevant nanopharmaceuticals.

Plasticized drug-loaded melt electrospun polymer mats: characterization, thermal degradation, and release kinetics

Melt electrospinning (MES) was used to prepare fast dissolving fibrous drug delivery systems in the presence of plasticizers. This new method was found promising in the field of pharmaceutical formulation because it combines the advantages of melt extrusion and solvent-based electrospinning. Lowering of the process temperature was performed using plasticizers in order to avoid undesired thermal degradation. Carvedilol (CAR), a poorly water-soluble and thermal-sensitive model drug, was introduced into an amorphous methacrylate terpolymer matrix, Eudragit® E, suitable for fiber formation. Three plasticizers (triacetin, Tween® 80, and polyethylene glycol 1500) were tested, all of which lowered the process temperature effectively. Scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, and Raman microspectrometry investigations showed that crystalline CAR turned into an amorphous form during processing and preserved it for longer time. In vitro dissolution studies revealed ultrafast drug dissolution of the fibrous samples. According to the HPLC impurity tests, the reduced stability of CAR under conditions applied without plasticizer could be avoided using plasticizers, whereas storage tests also indicated the importance of optimizing the process parameters during MES.

Solvent-free melt electrospinning for preparation of fast dissolving drug delivery system and comparison with solvent-based electrospun and melt extruded systems

The solvent-free melt electrospinning (MES) method was developed to prepare a drug delivery system with fast release of carvedilol (CAR), a drug with poor water solubility. To the authors knowledge, this is the first report for preparing drug-loaded melt electrospun fibers. Cationic methacrylate copolymer of Eudragit® E type was used as a fiber forming polymer matrix. For comparison, ethanol-based electrospinning and melt extrusion (EX) methods were used to produce samples that had the same composition as the melt electrospun system. According to the results of scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, and Fourier transformed infrared spectrometry investigations, amorphous solid nanodispersions/solutions of CAR in Eudragit® E matrix were obtained in all cases with 20 m/m % drug content. In vitro drug release in acidic media from the extrudates was significantly faster (5 min) than that from crystalline CAR. Moreover, ultrafast drug release was achieved from the solvent-free melt and ethanol-based electrospun samples because of their huge surface area and the soluble polymer matrix in the acidic media. These results demonstrate that solvent-free MES is a promising, novel technique for the production of drug delivery systems with enhanced dissolution because it can combine the advantages of EX (e.g., solvent-free, continuous process, and effective amorphization) and solvent-based electrospinning (huge product surface area).