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1.  Stability of Lysozyme in Aqueous Extremolyte Solutions during Heat Shock and Accelerated Thermal Conditions 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86244.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the stability of lysozyme in aqueous solutions in the presence of various extremolytes (betaine, hydroxyectoine, trehalose, ectoine, and firoin) under different stress conditions. The stability of lysozyme was determined by Nile red Fluorescence Spectroscopy and a bioactivity assay. During heat shock (10 min at 70°C), betaine, trehalose, ectoin and firoin protected lysozyme against inactivation while hydroxyectoine, did not have a significant effect. During accelerated thermal conditions (4 weeks at 55°C), firoin also acted as a stabilizer. In contrast, betaine, hydroxyectoine, trehalose and ectoine destabilized lysozyme under this condition. These findings surprisingly indicate that some extremolytes can stabilize a protein under certain stress conditions but destabilize the same protein under other stress conditions. Therefore it is suggested that for the screening extremolytes to be used for protein stabilization, an appropriate storage conditions should also be taken into account.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086244
PMCID: PMC3900503  PMID: 24465983
2.  A User-Friendly Model for Spray Drying to Aid Pharmaceutical Product Development 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74403.
The aim of this study was to develop a user-friendly model for spray drying that can aid in the development of a pharmaceutical product, by shifting from a trial-and-error towards a quality-by-design approach. To achieve this, a spray dryer model was developed in commercial and open source spreadsheet software. The output of the model was first fitted to the experimental output of a Büchi B-290 spray dryer and subsequently validated. The predicted outlet temperatures of the spray dryer model matched the experimental values very well over the entire range of spray dryer settings that were tested. Finally, the model was applied to produce glassy sugars by spray drying, an often used excipient in formulations of biopharmaceuticals. For the production of glassy sugars, the model was extended to predict the relative humidity at the outlet, which is not measured in the spray dryer by default. This extended model was then successfully used to predict whether specific settings were suitable for producing glassy trehalose and inulin by spray drying. In conclusion, a spray dryer model was developed that is able to predict the output parameters of the spray drying process. The model can aid the development of spray dried pharmaceutical products by shifting from a trial-and-error towards a quality-by-design approach.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074403
PMCID: PMC3767666  PMID: 24040240
3.  CLSM as Quantitative Method to Determine the Size of Drug Crystals in a Solid Dispersion 
Pharmaceutical Research  2011;28(10):2567-2574.
ABSTRACT
Purpose
To test whether confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) can be used as an analytical tool to determine the drug crystal size in a powder mixture or a crystalline solid dispersion.
Methods
Crystals of the autofluorescent drug dipyridamole were incorporated in a matrix of crystalline mannitol by physical mixing or freeze-drying. Laser diffraction analysis and dissolution testing were used to validate the particle size that was found by CLSM.
Results
The particle size of the pure drug as determined by laser diffraction and CLSM were similar (D50 of approximately 22 μm). CLSM showed that the dipyridamole crystals in the crystalline dispersion obtained by freeze-drying of less concentrated solutions were of sub-micron size (0.7 μm), whereas the crystals obtained by freeze-drying of more concentrated solutions were larger (1.3 μm). This trend in drug crystal size was in agreement with the dissolution behavior of the tablets prepared from these products.
Conclusion
CLSM is a useful technique to determine the particle size in a powder mixture. Furthermore, CLSM can be used to determine the drug crystal size over a broad size distribution. A limitation of the method is that the drug should be autofluorescent.
doi:10.1007/s11095-011-0484-8
PMCID: PMC3170464  PMID: 21607777
confocal laser scanning miscroscopy; controlled crystallization during freeze-drying; dipyridamole; dissolution; freeze-drying
4.  A New Strategy to Stabilize Oxytocin in Aqueous Solutions: I. The Effects of Divalent Metal Ions and Citrate Buffer 
The AAPS Journal  2011;13(2):284-290.
In the current study, the effect of metal ions in combination with buffers (citrate, acetate, pH 4.5) on the stability of aqueous solutions of oxytocin was investigated. Both monovalent metal ions (Na+ and K+) and divalent metal ions (Ca2+, Mg2+, and Zn2+) were tested all as chloride salts. The effect of combinations of buffers and metal ions on the stability of aqueous oxytocin solutions was determined by RP-HPLC and HP-SEC after 4 weeks of storage at either 4°C or 55°C. Addition of sodium or potassium ions to acetate- or citrate-buffered solutions did not increase stability, nor did the addition of divalent metal ions to acetate buffer. However, the stability of aqueous oxytocin in aqueous formulations was improved in the presence of 5 and 10 mM citrate buffer in combination with at least 2 mM CaCl2, MgCl2, or ZnCl2 and depended on the divalent metal ion concentration. Isothermal titration calorimetric measurements were predictive for the stabilization effects observed during the stability study. Formulations in citrate buffer that had an improved stability displayed a strong interaction between oxytocin and Ca2+, Mg2+, or Zn2+, while formulations in acetate buffer did not. In conclusion, our study shows that divalent metal ions in combination with citrate buffer strongly improved the stability of oxytocin in aqueous solutions.
doi:10.1208/s12248-011-9268-7
PMCID: PMC3085697  PMID: 21448747
citrate buffer; divalent metal ions; improved stability; oxytocin
5.  A New Strategy to Stabilize Oxytocin in Aqueous Solutions: I. The Effects of Divalent Metal Ions and Citrate Buffer 
The AAPS Journal  2011;13(2):284-290.
In the current study, the effect of metal ions in combination with buffers (citrate, acetate, pH 4.5) on the stability of aqueous solutions of oxytocin was investigated. Both monovalent metal ions (Na+ and K+) and divalent metal ions (Ca2+, Mg2+, and Zn2+) were tested all as chloride salts. The effect of combinations of buffers and metal ions on the stability of aqueous oxytocin solutions was determined by RP-HPLC and HP-SEC after 4 weeks of storage at either 4°C or 55°C. Addition of sodium or potassium ions to acetate- or citrate-buffered solutions did not increase stability, nor did the addition of divalent metal ions to acetate buffer. However, the stability of aqueous oxytocin in aqueous formulations was improved in the presence of 5 and 10 mM citrate buffer in combination with at least 2 mM CaCl2, MgCl2, or ZnCl2 and depended on the divalent metal ion concentration. Isothermal titration calorimetric measurements were predictive for the stabilization effects observed during the stability study. Formulations in citrate buffer that had an improved stability displayed a strong interaction between oxytocin and Ca2+, Mg2+, or Zn2+, while formulations in acetate buffer did not. In conclusion, our study shows that divalent metal ions in combination with citrate buffer strongly improved the stability of oxytocin in aqueous solutions.
doi:10.1208/s12248-011-9268-7
PMCID: PMC3085697  PMID: 21448747
citrate buffer; divalent metal ions; improved stability; oxytocin
6.  Bottom-Up Preparation Techniques for Nanocrystals of Lipophilic Drugs 
Pharmaceutical Research  2010;28(5):1220-1223.
doi:10.1007/s11095-010-0323-3
PMCID: PMC3073053  PMID: 21086152
bottom-up; large-scale production; nanocrystal; solubility
7.  Controlled Crystallization of the Lipophilic Drug Fenofibrate During Freeze-Drying: Elucidation of the Mechanism by In-Line Raman Spectroscopy 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(4):569-575.
We developed a novel process, “controlled crystallization during freeze-drying” to produce drug nanocrystals of poorly water-soluble drugs. This process involves freeze-drying at a relatively high temperature of a drug and a matrix material from a mixture of tertiary butyl alcohol and water, resulting in drug nanocrystals incorporated in a matrix. The aim of this study was to elucidate the mechanisms that determine the size of the drug crystals. Fenofibrate was used as a model lipophilic drug. To monitor the crystallization during freeze-drying, a Raman probe was placed just above the sample in the freeze-dryer. These in-line Raman spectroscopy measurements clearly revealed when the different components crystallized during freeze-drying. The solvents crystallized only during the freezing step, while the solutes only crystallized after the temperature was increased, but before drying started. Although the solutes crystallized only after the freezing step, both the freezing rate and the shelf temperature were critical parameters that determined the final crystal size. At a higher freezing rate, smaller interstitial spaces containing the freeze-concentrated fraction were formed, resulting in smaller drug crystals (based on dissolution data). On the other hand, when the solutes crystallized at a lower shelf temperature, the degree of supersaturation is higher, resulting in a higher nucleation rate and consequently more and therefore smaller crystals. In conclusion, for the model drug fenofibrate, a high freezing rate and a relatively low crystallization temperature resulted in the smallest crystals and therefore the highest dissolution rate.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9215-z
PMCID: PMC2976986  PMID: 20625865
dissolution; fenofibrate; nanocrystal; poorly water-soluble drug; raman spectroscopy
8.  Controlled Crystallization of the Lipophilic Drug Fenofibrate During Freeze-Drying: Elucidation of the Mechanism by In-Line Raman Spectroscopy 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(4):569-575.
We developed a novel process, “controlled crystallization during freeze-drying” to produce drug nanocrystals of poorly water-soluble drugs. This process involves freeze-drying at a relatively high temperature of a drug and a matrix material from a mixture of tertiary butyl alcohol and water, resulting in drug nanocrystals incorporated in a matrix. The aim of this study was to elucidate the mechanisms that determine the size of the drug crystals. Fenofibrate was used as a model lipophilic drug. To monitor the crystallization during freeze-drying, a Raman probe was placed just above the sample in the freeze-dryer. These in-line Raman spectroscopy measurements clearly revealed when the different components crystallized during freeze-drying. The solvents crystallized only during the freezing step, while the solutes only crystallized after the temperature was increased, but before drying started. Although the solutes crystallized only after the freezing step, both the freezing rate and the shelf temperature were critical parameters that determined the final crystal size. At a higher freezing rate, smaller interstitial spaces containing the freeze-concentrated fraction were formed, resulting in smaller drug crystals (based on dissolution data). On the other hand, when the solutes crystallized at a lower shelf temperature, the degree of supersaturation is higher, resulting in a higher nucleation rate and consequently more and therefore smaller crystals. In conclusion, for the model drug fenofibrate, a high freezing rate and a relatively low crystallization temperature resulted in the smallest crystals and therefore the highest dissolution rate.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9215-z
PMCID: PMC2976986  PMID: 20625865
dissolution; fenofibrate; nanocrystal; poorly water-soluble drug; raman spectroscopy
9.  Preservation of the Immunogenicity of Dry-powder Influenza H5N1 Whole Inactivated Virus Vaccine at Elevated Storage Temperatures 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(2):215-222.
Stockpiling of pre-pandemic influenza vaccines guarantees immediate vaccine availability to counteract an emerging pandemic. Generally, influenza vaccines need to be stored and handled refrigerated to prevent thermal degradation of the antigenic component. Requirement of a cold-chain, however, complicates stockpiling and the logistics of vaccine distribution. We, therefore, investigated the effect of elevated storage temperatures on the immunogenicity of a pre-pandemic influenza A H5N1 whole inactivated virus vaccine. Either suspended in liquid or kept as a freeze-dried powder, vaccines could be stored for 1 year at ambient temperature (20°C) with minimal loss of immunogenicity in mice. Elevation of the storage temperature to 40°C, however, resulted in a significant loss of immunogenic potency within 3 months if vaccines were stored in liquid suspension. In sharp contrast, freeze-dried powder formulations were stable at 40°C for at least 3 months. The presence of inulin or trehalose sugar excipients during freeze-drying of the vaccine proved to be critical to maintain its immunogenic potency during storage, and to preserve the characteristic Th1-type response to whole inactivated virus vaccine. These results indicate that whole inactivated virus vaccines may be stored and handled at room temperature in moderate climate zones for over a year with minimal decline and, if converted to dry-powder, even in hot climate zones for at least 3 months. The increased stability of dry-powder vaccine at 40°C may also point to an extended shelf-life when stored at 4°C. Use of the more stable dry-powder formulation could simplify stockpiling and thereby facilitating successful pandemic intervention.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9179-z
PMCID: PMC2844510  PMID: 20195930
freeze-drying; inulin; pandemic influenza; vaccine stockpiling; whole inactivated influenza vaccine (H5N1)
10.  Preservation of the Immunogenicity of Dry-powder Influenza H5N1 Whole Inactivated Virus Vaccine at Elevated Storage Temperatures 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(2):215-222.
Stockpiling of pre-pandemic influenza vaccines guarantees immediate vaccine availability to counteract an emerging pandemic. Generally, influenza vaccines need to be stored and handled refrigerated to prevent thermal degradation of the antigenic component. Requirement of a cold-chain, however, complicates stockpiling and the logistics of vaccine distribution. We, therefore, investigated the effect of elevated storage temperatures on the immunogenicity of a pre-pandemic influenza A H5N1 whole inactivated virus vaccine. Either suspended in liquid or kept as a freeze-dried powder, vaccines could be stored for 1 year at ambient temperature (20°C) with minimal loss of immunogenicity in mice. Elevation of the storage temperature to 40°C, however, resulted in a significant loss of immunogenic potency within 3 months if vaccines were stored in liquid suspension. In sharp contrast, freeze-dried powder formulations were stable at 40°C for at least 3 months. The presence of inulin or trehalose sugar excipients during freeze-drying of the vaccine proved to be critical to maintain its immunogenic potency during storage, and to preserve the characteristic Th1-type response to whole inactivated virus vaccine. These results indicate that whole inactivated virus vaccines may be stored and handled at room temperature in moderate climate zones for over a year with minimal decline and, if converted to dry-powder, even in hot climate zones for at least 3 months. The increased stability of dry-powder vaccine at 40°C may also point to an extended shelf-life when stored at 4°C. Use of the more stable dry-powder formulation could simplify stockpiling and thereby facilitating successful pandemic intervention.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9179-z
PMCID: PMC2844510  PMID: 20195930
freeze-drying; inulin; pandemic influenza; vaccine stockpiling; whole inactivated influenza vaccine (H5N1)
11.  Intranasal Delivery of Influenza Subunit Vaccine Formulated with GEM Particles as an Adjuvant 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(2):109-116.
Nasal administration of influenza vaccine has the potential to facilitate influenza control and prevention. However, when administered intranasally (i.n.), commercially available inactivated vaccines only generate systemic and mucosal immune responses if strong adjuvants are used, which are often associated with safety problems. We describe the successful use of a safe adjuvant Gram-positive enhancer matrix (GEM) particles derived from the food-grade bacterium Lactococcus lactis for i.n. vaccination with subunit influenza vaccine in mice. It is shown that simple admixing of the vaccine with the GEM particles results in a strongly enhanced immune response. Already after one booster, the i.n. delivered GEM subunit vaccine resulted in hemagglutination inhibition titers in serum at a level equal to the conventional intramuscular (i.m.) route. Moreover, i.n. immunization with GEM subunit vaccine elicited superior mucosal and Th1 skewed immune responses compared to those induced by i.m. and i.n. administered subunit vaccine alone. In conclusion, GEM particles act as a potent adjuvant for i.n. influenza immunization.
doi:10.1208/s12248-009-9168-2
PMCID: PMC2844513  PMID: 20058113
influenza vaccine; intranasal vaccine; Lactococcus lactis GEM particles
12.  Intranasal Delivery of Influenza Subunit Vaccine Formulated with GEM Particles as an Adjuvant 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(2):109-116.
Nasal administration of influenza vaccine has the potential to facilitate influenza control and prevention. However, when administered intranasally (i.n.), commercially available inactivated vaccines only generate systemic and mucosal immune responses if strong adjuvants are used, which are often associated with safety problems. We describe the successful use of a safe adjuvant Gram-positive enhancer matrix (GEM) particles derived from the food-grade bacterium Lactococcus lactis for i.n. vaccination with subunit influenza vaccine in mice. It is shown that simple admixing of the vaccine with the GEM particles results in a strongly enhanced immune response. Already after one booster, the i.n. delivered GEM subunit vaccine resulted in hemagglutination inhibition titers in serum at a level equal to the conventional intramuscular (i.m.) route. Moreover, i.n. immunization with GEM subunit vaccine elicited superior mucosal and Th1 skewed immune responses compared to those induced by i.m. and i.n. administered subunit vaccine alone. In conclusion, GEM particles act as a potent adjuvant for i.n. influenza immunization.
doi:10.1208/s12248-009-9168-2
PMCID: PMC2844513  PMID: 20058113
influenza vaccine; intranasal vaccine; Lactococcus lactis GEM particles
13.  Characterization of a cyclosporine solid dispersion for inhalation 
The AAPS Journal  2007;9(2):E190-E199.
For lung transplant patients, a respirable, inulin-based solid dispersion containing cyclosporine A (CsA) has been developed. The solid dispersions were prepared by spray freezedrying. The solid dispersion was characterized by water vapor uptake, specific surface area analysis, and particle size analysis. Furthermore, the mode of inclusion of CsA in the dispersion was investigated with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Finally, the dissolution behavior was determined and the aerosol that was formed by the powder was characterized. The powder had large specific surface areas (∼160 m2). The water vapor uptake was dependent linearly on the drug load. The type of solid dispersion was a combination of a solid solution and solid suspension. At a 10% drug load, 55% of the CsA in the powder was in the form of a solid solution and 45% as solid suspension. At 50% drug load, the powder contained 90% of CsA as solid suspension. The powder showed excellent dispersion characteristics as shown by the high emitted fraction (95%), respirable fraction (75%), and fine-particle fraction (50%). The solid dispersions consisted of relatively large (x50≈7 μm), but low-density particles (ρ≈0.2 g/cm3). The solid dispersions dissolved faster than the physical mixture, and inulin dissolved faster than CsA. The spray freeze-drying with inulin increased the specific surface area and wettability of CsA. In conclusion, the developed powder seems suitable for inhalation in the local treatment of lung transplant patients.
doi:10.1208/aapsj0902021
PMCID: PMC2751408  PMID: 17614361
DPI; Cyclosporine A; solid dispersion; FTIR; aerosol; large porous particles

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