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Mol Pharm. 2015 Jul 6;12(7):2229-36. doi: 10.1021/mp5007322. Epub 2015 May 28.

Viscoelastic Emulsion Improved the Bioaccessibility and Oral Bioavailability of Crystalline Compound: A Mechanistic Study Using in Vitro and in Vivo Models.

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†Department of Food Science, Rutgers University, 65 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, United States.


The oral bioavailability of hydrophobic compound is usually limited by the poor aqueous solubility in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Various oral formulations were developed to enhance the systemic concentration of such molecules. Moreover, compounds with high melting temperature that appear as insoluble crystals imposed a great challenge to the development of oral vehicle. Polymethoxyflavone, an emerging category of bioactive compounds with potent therapeutic efficacies, were characterized as having a hydrophobic and highly crystalline chemical structure. To enhance the oral dosing efficiency of polymethoxyflavone, a viscoelastic emulsion system with a high static viscosity was developed and optimized using tangeretin, one of the most abundant polymethoxyflavones found in natural sources, as a modeling compound. In the present study, different in vitro and in vivo models were used to mechanistically evaluate the effect of emulsification on oral bioavailability of tangeretin. In vitro lipolysis revealed that emulsified tangeretin was digested and became bioaccessible much faster than unprocessed tangeretin oil suspension. By simulating the entire human GI tract, TNO's gastrointestinal model (TIM-1) is a valuable tool to mechanistically study the effect of emulsification on the digestion events that lead to a better oral bioavailability of tangeretin. TIM-1 result indicated that tangeretin was absorbed in the upper GI tract. Thus, a higher oral bioavailability can be expected if the compound becomes bioaccessible in the intestinal lumen soon after dosing. In vivo pharmacokinetics analysis on mice again confirmed that the oral bioavailability of tangeretin increased 2.3 fold when incorporated in the viscoelastic emulsion than unformulated oil suspension. By using the combination of in vitro and in vivo models introduced in this work, the mechanism that underlie the effect of viscoelastic emulsion on the oral bioavailability of tangeretin was well-elucidated.


tangeretin/viscoelastic emulsion/pharmacokinetic/TIM-1/in vitro lipolysis/bioaccessibility/bioavailability

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