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1.  Accelerated Polymer Biodegradation of Risperidone Poly(d, l-Lactide-Co-Glycolide) Microspheres 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2012;13(4):1465-1472.
The influence of a tertiary amine, namely risperidone (pKa = 7.9) on the degradation of poly(d, l lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) microspheres was elucidated. Risperidone and blank microspheres were fabricated at two lactide/glycolide ratios, 65:35 and 85:15. The microspheres were characterized for drug loading by high-performance liquid chromatography, particle size by laser diffractometry, and surface morphology by scanning electron microscopy. Polymer degradation studies were carried out with drug-loaded microspheres and blank microspheres in presence of free risperidone in 0.02 M PBS containing 0.02% Tween®80 at 37°C. Molecular weight was monitored by gel permeation chromatography. Risperidone and blank microspheres had similar size distribution and were spherical with a relatively nonporous smooth surface. The presence of risperidone within the microspheres enhanced the hydrolytic degradation in both polymeric matrices with faster degradation occurring in 65:35 PLGA. The molecular weight decreased according to pseudo-first-order kinetics for all the formulations. During the degradation study, the surface morphology of drug-loaded microspheres was affected by the presence of risperidone and resulted in shriveled microspheres in which there appeared to be an intrabatch variation with the larger microspheres being less shriveled than the smaller ones. When blank microspheres were incubated in free risperidone solutions, a concentration-dependent effect on the development of surface porosity could be observed. Risperidone accelerates the hydrolytic degradation of PLGA, presumably within the microenvironment of the drug-loaded particles, and this phenomenon must be taken into consideration in designing PLGA dosage forms of tertiary amine drugs.
PMCID: PMC3513476  PMID: 23090111
mass loss; microencapsulation; PLGA microspheres; polymer degradation; risperidone; tertiary amine drug
2.  Injectability Evaluation: An Open Issue 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2011;12(2):604-609.
The current work aimed to propose a system of scoring to rationalize and support the selection of the optimal diameter and length of needles. Four formulations at different viscosity and needles ranging from 21 to 26 G and length ranging from 16 to 40 mm were used. Plunger-stopper breakloose force, maximum force (Fmax), and dynamic glide force were measured by a texture analyzer at the crosshead speed of 1 mm/s. Testing was carried out into air or human subcutaneous tissue. The manual injectability of the highest viscosity product was assessed by ten evaluators. The comparison of the panel test score and the quantitative measurements of the forces permitted to score a given needle-syringe-formulation system keeping also in consideration the pressure created in the subcutaneous space and muscles at the injection site. In particular, the following relationship was drawn: at the Fmax up to 250 mPa, the injection was practically impossible; at Fmax ranging from 160 to 250 mPa, the injection was very difficult; at Fmax in the 125–160 mPa range, the injection was feasible, though with some difficulty; when the values of Fmax were lower 125 mPa, the injection went smoothly. On the basis of these preliminary data, a system of scoring the needle-syringe-formulation system is proposed to rationalize and support the selection of the optimal diameter and length of needles, keeping also in consideration the pressure created in the subcutaneous space and muscles at the injection site.
PMCID: PMC3134656  PMID: 21553165
injectability; panel test; texture analyzer
3.  Nicotine Fast Dissolving Films Made of Maltodextrins: A Feasibility Study 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2010;11(4):1511-1517.
This work aimed to develop a fast-dissolving film made of low dextrose equivalent maltodextrins (MDX) containing nicotine hydrogen tartrate salt (NHT). Particular attention was given to the selection of the suitable taste-masking agent (TMA) and the characterisation of the ductility and flexibility under different mechanical stresses. MDX with two different dextrose equivalents (DEs), namely DE 6 and DE 12, were selected in order to evaluate the effect of polymer molecular weight on film tensile properties. The bitterness and astringency intensity of NHT and the suppression effect of several TMA were evaluated by a Taste-Sensing System. The films were characterised in term of NHT content, tensile properties, disintegration time and drug dissolution test. As expected, placebo films made of MDX DE 6 appeared stiffer and less ductile than film prepared using MDX DE 12. The films disintegrated within 10 s. Among the tested TMA, the milk and mint flavours resulted particularly suitable to mask the taste of NHT. The addition of NHT and taste-masking agents affected film tensile properties; however, the effect of the addition of these components can be counterweighted by modulating the glycerine content and/or the MDX molecular weight. The feasibility of NHT loaded fast-dissolving films was demonstrated.
PMCID: PMC3011068  PMID: 20936440
fast-dissolving film; maltodextrin; nicotine; plasticiser; tensile property
4.  Design of Methylprednisolone Biodegradable Microspheres Intended for Intra-articular Administration 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2008;9(4):1136-1142.
This study aimed to design methyprednisolone (MP)-loaded poly(d,l lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) microspheres (MS) intended for intra-articular administration. MP was encapsulated in four different types of PLGA by using an S/O/W technique. The effects of β-irradiation at the dose of 25 kGy were evaluated on the chemical and physicochemical properties of MS and the drug release profiles. The S/O/W technique with hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC) as surfactant allowed obtaining MS in the tolerability size (7–50 µm) for intra-articular administration. The MP encapsulation efficiency ranged 56–60%. HPMC traces were evidenced in the loaded and placebo MS by attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. MS made of the capped PLGA DL5050 2M (MS 2M) and uncapped PLGA DL5050 3A (MS 3A) prolonged the release of MP over a 2- to 3-month period with a triphasic (burst release–dormant period–second release pulse) and biphasic release pattern, respectively. The β-irradiation did not significantly alter the morphology, chemical, and physicochemical properties of MS. The only variation was evidenced in the drug release for MS 2M in term of shorting of the dormant period. The minimal variations in the properties of irradiated PLGA MS, which are in disagreement with literature data, may be attributed to a radioprotecting effect exerted by HPMC.
PMCID: PMC2628272  PMID: 19009355
β-irradiation; HPMC; intra-articular administration; methylprednisolone; PLGA microspheres
5.  Development of a peptide-containing chewing gum as a sustained release antiplaque antimicrobial delivery system 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2007;8(1):E177-E185.
The objective of this study was to characterize the stability of KSL-W, an antimicrobial decapeptide shown to inhibit the growth of oral bacterial strains associated with caries development and plaque formation, and its potential as an antiplaque agent in a chewing gum formulation. KSL-W formulations with or without the commercial antibacterial agent cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) were prepared. The release of KSL-W from the gums was assessed in vitro using a chewing gum apparatus and in vivo by a chew-out method. A reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography method was developed for assaying KSL-W. Raw material stability and temperature and pH effects on the stability of KSL-W solutions and interactions of KSL-W with tooth-like material, hydroxyapatite discs, were investigated.
KSL-W was most stable in acidic aqueous solutions and underwent rapid hydrolysis in base. It was stable to enzymatic degradation in human saliva for 1 hour but was degraded by pancreatic serine proteases. KSL-W readily adsorbed to hydroxyapatite, suggesting that it will also adsorb to the teeth when delivered to the oral cavity. The inclusion of CPC caused a large increase in the rate and extent of KSL-W released from the gums. The gum formulations displayed promising in vitro/ in vivo release profiles, wherein as much as 90% of the KSL-W was released in a sustained manner within 30 minutes in vivo. These results suggest that KSL-W possesses the stability, adsorption, and release characteristics necessary for local delivery to the oral cavity in a chewing gum formulation, there-by serving as a novel antiplaque agent.
PMCID: PMC2750437  PMID: 17408225
KSL-W; chewing gum; sustained release; cetylpyridinium chloride; antiplaque; antimicrobial; peptide; stability
6.  Comparison between gamma and beta irradiation effects on hydroxypropylmethylcellulose and gelatin hard capsules 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2005;6(4):E586-E593.
The effects of electron beam or λ-irradiation on technological performances (capsule hardness, expressed as deforming work and dissolution time) of empty 2-shell capsules made of gelatin or hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC) were studied. Capsule structural changes induced by radiation treatment were investigated by capillary viscometry and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The capsules were irradiated in the air at 5, 15, and 25 kGy. The deforming work of nonirradiated HPMC capsules (0.06±0.01 J) was lower than that of gelatin capsules (0.10±0.01 J). The dissolution time of the HPMC capsules (414±33 seconds) was slightly higher than that determined for gelatin hard capsules (288±19 seconds). The hardness and dissolution time of gelatin and HPMC capsules were not significantly influenced by the irradiation type and the applied irradiation dose. As the viscometry analyses are concerned, irradiation caused a reduction of the intrinsic viscosity and water and dimethyl sulfoxide solvent power in both the cases. AFM analysis showed that the radiation treatment did not appreciably affect the surface roughness of the samples nor induce structural changes on capsule surface. However, measurements of force-distance curves pointed out a qualitative parameter for the identification of the irradiated capsules. On the bases of these preliminary results, empty gelatin or HPMC hard capsules can be sanitized/sterilized by ionizing radiation.
PMCID: PMC2750606  PMID: 16408860
gelatin capsule; HPMC capsule; electron beam irradiation; gamma irradiation; AFM
7.  Assessment of fertility in male rats after extended chemical castration with a GnRH antagonist 
AAPS PharmSci  2004;6(1):94-99.
The purpose of this study was to assess whether male rats whose testosterone levels were suppressed to castration levels (<0.5 ng/mL) for a 1-year period by the sustained delivery of orntide acetate, a GnRH antagonist, would return to fertility (ie, produce offspring) after serum testosterone returned to control levels. Male rats comprising a treatment group (orntide microspheres, dose=27 mg/kg/y), a vehicle control group, and a control group of proven male breeders were used. For the treatment and vehicle control groups, serum orntide and testosterone levels were monitored at periodic intervals for 14 months from the initiation of treatment. After serum testosterone levels returned to vehicle control levels and orntide serum levels were no longer discernible for the treated group, each of the animals was housed with 2 drug-naive, female, proven breeders. All the breeder females produced offspring with the exception of 1 female housed with a male rat from the treatment group and the 2 females housed with a single male rat from the vehicle control group. The mean size and weight of the litters from each group were not statistically different. Further, fertility of the offspring from each group was assessed. The male and female offspring studied were all shown to be fertile. The results suggest that lack of fertility due to testosterone suppression in male rats is reversible after cessation of treatment with the GnRH analog, orntide.
PMCID: PMC2750945  PMID: 18465262
orntide acetate; PLA microspheres; return to fertility; chemical castration; GnRH antagonist

Results 1-7 (7)