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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2012 Sep;13(3):949-60. doi: 10.1208/s12249-012-9817-0. Epub 2012 Jun 30.

Influence of formulation and processing variables on properties of itraconazole nanoparticles made by advanced evaporative precipitation into aqueous solution.

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  • 1Division of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station, Mail Stop A1920, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.


Nanoparticles, of the poorly water-soluble drug, itraconazole (ITZ), were produced by the Advanced Evaporative Precipitation into Aqueous Solution process (Advanced EPAS). This process combines emulsion templating and EPAS processing to provide improved control over the size distribution of precipitated particles. Specifically, oil-in-water emulsions containing the drug and suitable stabilizers are sprayed into a heated aqueous solution to induce precipitation of the drug in form of nanoparticles. The influence of processing parameters (temperature and volume of the heated aqueous solution; type of nozzle) and formulation aspects (stabilizer concentrations; total solid concentrations) on the size of suspended ITZ particles, as determined by laser diffraction, was investigated. Furthermore, freeze-dried ITZ nanoparticles were evaluated regarding their morphology, crystallinity, redispersibility, and dissolution behavior. Results indicate that a robust precipitation process was developed such that size distribution of dispersed nanoparticles was shown to be largely independent across the different processing and formulation parameters. Freeze-drying of colloidal dispersions resulted in micron-sized agglomerates composed of spherical, sub-300-nm particles characterized by reduced crystallinity and high ITZ potencies of up to 94% (w/w). The use of sucrose prevented particle agglomeration and resulted in powders that were readily reconstituted and reached high and sustained supersaturation levels upon dissolution in aqueous media.

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