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Mol Pharm. 2012 Feb 6;9(2):237-47. doi: 10.1021/mp200286x. Epub 2011 Dec 27.

Insights into intermediate phases of human intestinal fluids visualized by atomic force microscopy and cryo-transmission electron microscopy ex vivo.

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Bioneer:FARMA, Department of Pharmaceutics and Analytical Chemistry, The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 2, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.


The current work aims to study at the ultrastructural level the morphological development of colloidal intermediate phases of human intestinal fluids (HIFs) produced during lipid digestion. HIFs were aspirated near the ligament of Treitz early (30 min), Aspirate(early), and 1 h, Aspirate(1h)(ave,comp), after the administration of a heterogeneous liquid meal into the antrum. The composition of the sample aspirated 1 h after meal administration was similar to the average lumenal composition 1 h after meal administration (Aspirate(1h)(ave,comp)). The colloidal structures of individual aspirates and supernatants of aspirates after ultracentrifugation (micellar phase) were characterized by means of atomic force microscopy (AFM) and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (Cryo-TEM). AFM revealed domain-like structures in Aspirate(early) and both vesicles and large aggregates Aspirate(1h)(ave,comp). Rough surfaces and domains varying in size were frequently present in the micellar phase of both Aspirate(early) and Aspirate(1h)(ave,comp). Cryo-TEM revealed an abundance of spherical micelles and occasionally presented worm-like micelles coexisting with faceted and less defined vesicles in Aspirate(early) and Aspirate(1h)(ave,comp). In Aspirate(1h)(ave,comp) oil droplets were visualized with bilayers closely located to their surface suggesting lipolytic product phases accumulated on the surface of the oil droplet. In the micellar phase of Aspirate(early), Cryo-TEM revealed the presence of spherical micelles, small vesicles, membrane fragments, oil droplets and plate-like structures. In the micellar phase of Aspirate(1h)(ave,comp) the only difference was the absence of oil droplets. Visualization studies previously performed with biorelevant media revealed structural features with many similarities as presented in the current investigation. The impression of the complexity and diversion of these phases has been reinforced with the excessive variation of structural features visualized ex vivo in the current study offering insights at the ultrastuctural level of intermediate phases which impact drug solubilization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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