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1.  Improved Bioavailability of a Water-Insoluble Drug by Inhalation of Drug-Containing Maltosyl-β-Cyclodextrin Microspheres Using a Four-Fluid Nozzle Spray Drier 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2012;13(4):1130-1137.
We previously developed a unique four-fluid nozzle spray drier that can produce water-soluble microspheres containing water-insoluble drug nanoparticles in one step without any common solvent between the water-insoluble drug and water-soluble carrier. In the present study, we focused on maltosyl-β-cyclodextrin (malt-β-CD) as a new water-soluble carrier and it was investigated whether drug/malt-β-CD microspheres could improve the bioavailability compared with our previously reported drug/mannitol (MAN) microspheres. The physicochemical properties of bare drug microparticles (ONO-2921, a model water-insoluble drug), drug/MAN microspheres, and drug/malt-β-CD microspheres were evaluated. In vitro aerosol performance, in vitro dissolution rate, and the blood concentration profiles after intratracheal administration were compared between these formulations. The mean diameter of both drug/MAN and drug/malt-β-CD microspheres was approximately 3–5 μm and both exhibited high aerosol performance (>20% in stages 2–7), but drug/malt-β-CD microspheres had superior release properties. Drug/malt-β-CD microspheres dissolved in an aqueous phase within 2 min, while drug/MAN microspheres failed to dissolve in 30 min. Inhalation of drug/malt-β-CD microspheres enhanced the area under the curve of the blood concentration curve by 15.9-fold than that of bare drug microparticles and by 6.1-fold than that of drug/MAN microspheres. Absolute bioavailability (pulmonary/intravenous route) of drug/malt-β-CD microspheres was also much higher (42%) than that of drug/MAN microspheres (6.9%). These results indicate that drug/malt-β-CD microspheres prepared by our four-fluid nozzle spray drier can improve drug solubility and pulmonary delivery.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1208/s12249-012-9826-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3513433  PMID: 22945234
4-fluid nozzle spray drier; inhalation therapy; maltosyl-β-cyclodextrin; microparticles; water-insoluble drug
2.  Intranasal Delivery of Camptothecin-Loaded Tat-Modified Nanomicells for Treatment of Intracranial Brain Tumors 
Pharmaceuticals  2012;5(10):1092-1103.
The blood-brain barrier is a substantial obstacle for delivering anticancer agents to brain tumors, and new strategies for bypassing it are sorely needed for brain tumor therapy. Intranasal delivery provides a practical, noninvasive method for delivering therapeutic agents to the brain. Intranasal application of nano-sized micelles that have been modified with Tat peptide facilitates brain delivery of fluorescent model materials. In this study, we evaluated a nose-to-brain delivery system for brain tumor therapy. We nasally administered the anti-tumor drug camptothecin (CPT) in solution and in methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) (MPEG)/poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) amphiphilic block copolymers (MPEG-PCL) and cell penetrating peptide, Tat analog-modified MPEG-PCL (MPEG-PCL-Tat) MPEG-PCL-Tat to rats bearing intracranial glioma tumors and quantified the cytotoxicity against glioma cells, and the therapeutic effects. CPT-loaded MPEG-PCL-Tat micelles showed higher cytotoxicity than CPT-loaded MPEG-PCL. CPT-free MPEG-PCL-Tat didn’t show any cytotoxicity, even at high concentrations (2 mmol/mL). CPT-loaded MPEG-PCL-Tat micelles significantly prolonged the median survival of rats. These results indicate that intranasal delivery of anti-cancer drugs with cell penetrating peptide-modified nanomicelles might be an effective therapy for brain tumors.
PMCID: PMC3816654  PMID: 24281259
intranasal brain delivery; glioma; anti-cancer drug; cell penetrating peptides; nanomicelles
3.  Combined Analyses of Bacterial, Fungal and Nematode Communities in Andosolic Agricultural Soils in Japan 
Microbes and Environments  2012;27(1):72-79.
We simultaneously examined the bacteria, fungi and nematode communities in Andosols from four agro-geographical sites in Japan using polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) and statistical analyses to test the effects of environmental factors including soil properties on these communities depending on geographical sites. Statistical analyses such as Principal component analysis (PCA) and Redundancy analysis (RDA) revealed that the compositions of the three soil biota communities were strongly affected by geographical sites, which were in turn strongly associated with soil characteristics such as total C (TC), total N (TN), C/N ratio and annual mean soil temperature (ST). In particular, the TC, TN and C/N ratio had stronger effects on bacterial and fungal communities than on the nematode community. Additionally, two-way cluster analysis using the combined DGGE profile also indicated that all soil samples were classified into four clusters corresponding to the four sites, showing high site specificity of soil samples, and all DNA bands were classified into four clusters, showing the coexistence of specific DGGE bands of bacteria, fungi and nematodes in Andosol fields. The results of this study suggest that geography relative to soil properties has a simultaneous impact on soil microbial and nematode community compositions. This is the first combined profile analysis of bacteria, fungi and nematodes at different sites with agricultural Andosols.
PMCID: PMC4036027  PMID: 22223474
bacteria-fungi-nematode community; andosols; PCR-DGGE; two-way cluster analysis
4.  Effect of Storage Temperature on Soil Nematode Community Structures as Revealed by PCR-DGGE 
Journal of Nematology  2010;42(4):324-331.
The optimal duration and conditions for storage of soils collected for nematode community analyses are unknown. To study this issue, three types of soils with different geographical origins from the subarctic to cool-temperate Japan were kept at three temperature levels (5, 10, and 20°C) for up to 8 wk following collection. During the storage period, nematode population density was measured, and community structure was assessed by polymerase chain reaction denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE). No significant changes in the population density or diversity of nematodes (Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index) were observed during storage compared to initial states, except that density in an andosol collected from Tsukuba, Central Japan decreased significantly after 28 d of storage at 5°C. However, a regression analysis showed a declining trend in nematode density in the latter half of the storage period when soils were stored at 5 or 20°C, depending on the geographic origin of the soil. These results indicate that soils can be stored for 14 d at 5–20°C, with 10°C as optimal. This is the first study to experimentally determine the optimal preservation conditions for nematode assemblages in soils that are to be analyzed using PCR-DGGE.
PMCID: PMC3380525  PMID: 22736866
biodiversity; ecology; method; soil fauna
5.  Analysis of expressed sequence tags and identification of genes encoding cell-wall-degrading enzymes from the fungivorous nematode Aphelenchus avenae 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:525.
The fungivorus nematode, Aphelenchus avenae is widespread in soil and is found in association with decaying plant material. This nematode is also found in association with plants but its ability to cause plant disease remains largely undetermined. The taxonomic position and intermediate lifestyle of A. avenae make it an important model for studying the evolution of plant parasitism within the Nematoda. In addition, the exceptional capacity of this nematode to survive desiccation makes it an important system for study of anhydrobiosis. Expressed sequence tag (EST) analysis may therefore be useful in providing an initial insight into the poorly understood genetic background of A. avenae.
We present the generation, analysis and annotation of over 5,000 ESTs from a mixed-stage A. avenae cDNA library. Clustering of 5,076 high-quality ESTs resulted in a set of 2,700 non-redundant sequences comprising 695 contigs and 2,005 singletons. Comparative analyses indicated that 1,567 (58.0%) of the cluster sequences had homologues in Caenorhabditis elegans, 1,750 (64.8%) in other nematodes, 1,321(48.9%) in organisms other than nematodes, and 862 (31.9%) had no significant match to any sequence in current protein or nucleotide databases. In addition, 1,100 (40.7%) of the sequences were functionally classified using Gene Ontology (GO) hierarchy. Similarity searches of the cluster sequences identified a set of genes with significant homology to genes encoding enzymes that degrade plant or fungal cell walls. The full length sequences of two genes encoding glycosyl hydrolase family 5 (GHF5) cellulases and two pectate lyase genes encoding polysaccharide lyase family 3 (PL3) proteins were identified and characterized.
We have described at least 2,214 putative genes from A. avenae and identified a set of genes encoding a range of cell-wall-degrading enzymes. This EST dataset represents a starting point for studies in a number of different fundamental and applied areas. The presence of genes encoding a battery of cell-wall-degrading enzymes in A. avenae and their similarities with genes from other plant parasitic nematodes suggest that this nematode can act not only as a fungal feeder but also a plant parasite. Further studies on genes encoding cell-wall-degrading enzymes in A. avenae will accelerate our understanding of the complex evolutionary histories of plant parasitism and the use of genes obtained by horizontal gene transfer from prokaryotes.
PMCID: PMC2784482  PMID: 19917084
6.  Application of a Four-fluid Nozzle Spray Drier to Prepare Inhalable Rifampicin-containing Mannitol Microparticles 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2008;9(3):755-761.
The purpose of this study was to use a four-fluid nozzle spray drier as a new one-step method for preparing rifampicin (RFP)-containing mannitol microparticles. A RFP-acetone/methanol (2:1) solution and aqueous solutions of mannitol (MAN) were simultaneously supplied through different liquid passages of a four-fluid nozzle spray drier and then dried to obtain MAN microparticles containing RFP. Using a cascade impactor, the in vitro aerosol performance of RFP powder and RFP-MAN microparticles with 1:5, 1:10, and 1:20 ratios was compared. The in vivo retention of RFP in the lungs of rats after intratracheal administration of 1:20 RFP-MAN microparticles was also compared. The RFP-MAN microparticles had better aerosol performance than RFP powder and delivery to the lung stages improved as the fraction of MAN was increased. For the 1:20 RFP-MAN microparticles, deposition in stages 2–7 was approximately 43%, which is sufficient for treatment. Approximately 8% of the RFP-MAN microparticles were deposited in stages 6–7, which corresponds to alveoli containing alveolar macrophages. The initial retention of RFP in the lung following pulmonary delivery of 1:20 RFP-MAN microparticles was higher than following oral or intravenous administration of RFP, but the elimination was rapid, resulting in the disappearance of RFP from the lung within 4 h. The plasma concentration–time profile of RFP after intratracheal administration of 1:20 RFP-MAN microparticles was consistent with the profile for RFP retention in the lung. Addition of cholesterol or phosphatidylcholine to RFP had little effect on its retention in the lung. The RFP-MAN microparticles were effective for delivery of RFP to the lung, but the RFP rapidly removed from the lung into the blood circulation. This study demonstrated that RFP-containing MAN microparticles prepared in one step using the four-fluid nozzle spray drier efficiently deliver RFP to the lung, although methods must be developed to prolong its retention and improve targeting to alveolar macrophages.
PMCID: PMC2977023  PMID: 18563576
four-fluid nozzle; inhalation; microparticles; spray dry; tuberculosis
7.  Controlled release of drug via methylcellulose-carboxyvinylpolymer interpolymer complex solid dispersion 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2005;6(2):E231-E236.
The purpose of this research was to examine the controlled release of phenacetin (PHE) from solid dispersion by the formation of an interpolymer complex between methyl-cellulose (MC) and carboxyvinylpolymer (CP). The PHE/ polymer composition ratio was fixed at 20∶80 (w/w) in the solid dispersion. The effect of the MC/CP ratio and molecular weight of MC on the PHE release was studied. The release of PHE from the solid-dispersion granules depended on the MC/CP ratio, with a ratio of 50∶50 giving the lowest rate of release. In aqueous solution, this MC/CP ratio resulted in the lowest transmittance, suggesting a maximal extent of interpolymer complex formation between MC and CP. Furthermore, at a MC/CP ratio of 50∶50, the release of PHE from the solid dispersion granules decreased as the molecular weight of the MC increased, reaching a plateau at molecular weights ≥180,000. The contributions of diffusion and polymer relaxation to PHE release increased as the molecular weight of the MC increased. This study shows that it is feasible to control the release of PHE from MC-CP solid dispersion granules by modulating complex formation between MC and CP, which can be accomplished by altering the MC/CP ratio and the molecular weight of MC.
PMCID: PMC2750536  PMID: 16353982
controlled release; solid dispersion; polymer complex; methylcellulose; carboxyvinylpolymer
8.  Design of rapidly disintegrating oral tablets using acid-treated yeast cell wall: A technical note 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2003;4(4):561-564.
PMCID: PMC2750663  PMID: 15198565
acid-treated yeast cell wall; rapid disintegration; wicking; swelling; granulation
9.  Effect of shape of sodium salicylate particles on physical property and in vitro aerosol performance of granules prepared by pressure swing granulation method 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2003;4(4):506-513.
The purpose of this research was to investigate the effect of the shape of sodium salicylate (SS) particles on the physical properties as well as the in vitro aerosol performance of the granules granulated by the pressure swing granulation method. SS was pulverized with a jet mill (JM) to prepare the distorted particles, and SS aqueous solution was spray dried (SD) to prepare the nearly spherical particles. The particle size distribution, crushing strength, and pore size distribution of the granules were measured. The adhesive force of the primary particles in the granules was calculated according to Rumpf's equation. The in vitro aerosol performance of the granules was evaluated using a cascade impactor. Both JM and SD particles can be spherically granulated by the pressure swing granulation method without the use of a binder. The size of SD granules was smaller than that of JM granules. Although the crushing strength of the JM and SD granules is almost the same, the internal structures of JM granules and SD granules were found to differ, and the SD particles appear to have been condensed uniformly, resulting in a nearly spherical shape. In the inhalation investigation, the percentage of SS particles of appropriate size delivered to the region for treatment was noticeably higher for SD granules than for JM granules. This finding might be because the adhesive force of the SD primary particles was smaller than that of the JM primary particles in the granules and because the SD granules could be easily separated by air current to obtain the primary particles.
PMCID: PMC2750657  PMID: 15198559
pressure swing granulation; aerosol performance; particle shape; dry powder inhalation
10.  Acid-treated yeast cell wall as a binder displaying function of disintegrant 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2003;4(3):94-100.
This investigation examined the application of acid-treated yeast cell wall (AYC) as a binder functioning as a disintegrant. Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) was granulated with AYC, hydroxypropylcellulose (HPC), polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), or pullulan (PUL) and compressed into a tablet in the absence of disintegrant. Particle size and angle of repose of the granules, tensile strength, disintegration time, and water absorption behavior of the tablets and ASA release profiles from the tablets were measured. The surface of AYC-granules was observed with a scanning electron microscope. As was the case with the granules of HPC, PVP, or PUL, D50 of the granules of AYC increased with increasing AYC addition percentage, indicating that it is possible to granulate ASA with AYC. Tablets incorporating HPC, PVP, and PUL failed to disintegrate within 30 minutes at all percentages of binder addition because in the case of the HPC, PVP, or PUL tablets in the dissolution medium, water scarcely penetrated into the inner region of the tablet, causing no disintegration. In the case of the AYC tablets, disintegration was not detected at 3% or less of AYC. When AYC was equal to or greater than 5%, AYC tablets disintegrated in approximately 4 minutes and rapid ASA release from the tablets was observed. These results may have been caused by the following. In the case of the AYC 3% granules, ungranulated aspirin powder remained, but in the case of the AYC 5% granules, ASA powder was granulated and covered with AYC. Water absorption was observed initially; however, a plateau was reached in the case of the AYC 3%-tablet. In contrast, in the cases of the AYC 5% and more tablets, water absorption was greater and increased with time. The angle of repose of the AYC 5% granules was 25.7°, which represented high fluidity. The tablets produced by compressing the granules demonstrated sufficient tensile strength greater than 0.8 MPa. The tablets rapidly disintegrated and rapid ASA release was obtained. AYC functioned as a binder at granulation; additionally, AYC served as a disintegrant in the dissolution of drug from the tablets. These results indicate that AYC affords high utility as a unique pharmaceutical additive possessing contrary functions such as binding and disintegration.
PMCID: PMC2750634  PMID: 14621973
acid-treated yeast cell wall; pharmaceutical additive; binder; disintegrant; granulation; swelling

Results 1-10 (10)