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Int J Nanomedicine. 2013;8:1795-808. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S43555. Epub 2013 May 6.

Application of the central composite design to optimize the preparation of novel micelles of harmine.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, People's Republic of China.


Lactose-palmitoyl-trimethyl-chitosan (Lac-TPCS), a novel amphipathic self-assembled polymer, was synthesized for administration of insoluble drugs to reduce their adverse effects. The central composite design was used to study the preparation technique of harmine (HM)-loaded self-assembled micelles based on Lac-TPCS (Lac-TPCS/HM). Three preparation methods and single factors were screened, including solvent type, HM amount, hydration volume, and temperature. The optimal preparation technique was identified after investigating the influence of two independent factors, namely, HM amount and hydration volume, on four indexes, ie, encapsulation efficiency (EE), drug-loading amount (LD), particle size, and polydispersity index (PDI). Analysis of variance showed a high coefficient of determination of 0.916 to 0.994, thus ensuring a satisfactory adjustment of the predicted prescription. The maximum predicted values of the optimal prescription were 91.62%, 14.20%, 183.3 nm, and 0.214 for EE, LD, size, and PDI, respectively, when HM amount was 1.8 mg and hydration volume was 9.6 mL. HM-loaded micelles were successfully characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, and a fluorescence-quenching experiment. Sustained release of Lac-TPCS/HM reached 65.3% in 72 hours at pH 7.4, while free HM released about 99.7% under the same conditions.


central composite design; characterization; chitosan derivate; harmine; response surface methodology; self-assembled micelle

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