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AAPS J. 2008 Dec;10(4):505-15. doi: 10.1208/s12248-008-9060-5. Epub 2008 Oct 21.

Preparation of alendronate liposomes for enhanced stability and bioactivity: in vitro and in vivo characterization.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, POB 12065, Jerusalem, 91120, Israel.


Liposomes containing bisphosphonates have been shown to deplete circulating monocytes and reduce experimental restenosis. However, acceptable shelf life was not achieved, and the disruption extent and rate of the vesicles in the circulation has not been examined. Designing an optimal liposomal formulation in general, and for an anti-inflammatory effect in particular, requires careful consideration of the factors that contribute to their in vitro stability and integrity in the blood after injection. An improved liposomal alendronate formulation was prepared by a modified thin lipid film hydration technique followed by extrusion, resulting in relatively smaller size vesicles, narrow size distribution, and low drug to lipid ratio in comparison to the reverse phase evaporation method. In order to rule out premature leakage of the drug, the integrity of the vesicles was examined by means of size-exclusion chromatography in vitro and in vivo, with subsequent analysis of size, drug (fractions of encapsulated and free) and lipid concentrations. Vesicles were found to be stable in serum, with 15 +/- 3% leakage of the drug after 10 min in rabbit's circulation, and intact liposomes were detected in the circulation 24 h following administration. It is concluded that the new formulation results in increased stability (2.5 years) as determined by the insignificant changes in vesicle size, drug leakage, lipid and drug stability, in vitro bioactivity (macrophages inhibition), as well as in vivo in depleting circulating monocytes and inhibition of restenosis in rabbits. Our in vitro stability results regarding dilution in serum paralleled in vivo data. Thus, in vitro assessment may provide a valuable tool in assessing in vivo integrity of liposomal formulations.

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