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Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2011 Jul 1;85(2):214-20. doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2011.02.033. Epub 2011 Mar 2.

Factors affecting drug encapsulation and stability of lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles.

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School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637459, Singapore.


Lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles are polymeric nanoparticles enveloped by lipid layers that combine the highly biocompatible nature of lipids with the structural integrity afforded by polymeric nanoparticles. Recognizing them as attractive drug delivery vehicles, antibiotics are encapsulated in the present work into hybrid nanoparticles intended for lung biofilm infection therapy. Modified emulsification-solvent-evaporation methods using lipid as surfactant are employed to prepare the hybrid nanoparticles. Biodegradable poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) and phosphatidylcholine are used as the polymer and lipid models, respectively. Three fluoroquinolone antibiotics (i.e. levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and ofloxacin), which vary in their ionicity, lipophilicity, and aqueous solubility, are used. The hybrid nanoparticles are examined in terms of their drug encapsulation efficiency, drug loading, stability, and in vitro drug release profile. Compared to polymeric nanoparticles prepared using non-lipid surfactants, hybrid nanoparticles in general are larger and exhibit higher drug loading, except for the ciprofloxacin-encapsulated nanoparticles. Hybrid nanoparticles, however, are unstable in salt solutions, but the stability can be conferred by adding TPGS into the formulation. Drug-lipid ionic interactions and drug lipophilicity play important roles in the hybrid nanoparticle preparation. First, interactions between oppositely charged lipid and antibiotic (i.e. ciprofloxacin) during preparation cause failed nanoparticle formation. Charge reversal of the lipid facilitated by adding counterionic surfactants (e.g. stearylamine) must be performed before drug encapsulation can take place. Second, drug loading and the release profile are strongly influenced by drug lipophilicity, where more lipophilic drug (i.e. levofloxacin) exhibit a higher drug loading and a sustained release profile attributed to the interaction with the lipid coat.

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