• 3D printed oral theophylline doses with innovative 'radiator-like' design: Impact of polyethylene oxide (PEO) molecular weight

      Isreb, A.; Baj, K.; Wojsz, M.; Isreb, Mohammad; Peak, M.; Alhnan, M.A. (2019-06-10)
      Despite the abundant use of polyethylene oxides (PEOs) and their integration as an excipient in numerous pharmaceutical products, there have been no previous reports of applying this important thermoplastic polymer species alone to fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printing. In this work, we have investigated the manufacture of oral doses via FDM 3D printing by employing PEOs as a backbone polymer in combination with polyethylene glycol (PEG). Blends of PEO (molecular weight 100 K, 200 K, 300 K, 600 K or 900 K) with PEG 6 K (plasticiser) and a model drug (theophylline) were hot-melt extruded. The resultant filaments were used as a feed for FDM 3D printer to fabricate oral dosage forms (ODFs) with innovative designs. ODFs were designed in a radiator-like geometry with connected paralleled plates and inter-plate spacing of either 0.5, 1, 1.5 or 2 mm. X-ray diffraction patterns of the filaments revealed the presence of two distinctive peaks at 2θ = 7° and 12°, which can be correlated to the diffraction pattern of theophylline crystals. Blends of PEO and PEG yielded filaments of variable mechanically resistance (maximum load at break of 357, 608, 649, 882, 781 N for filament produced with PEO 100 K, 200 K, 300 K, 600 K or 900 K, respectively). Filaments of PEO at a molecular weight of 200–600 K were compatible with FDM 3D printing process. Further increase in PEO molecular weight resulted in elevated shear viscosity (>104 Pa.S) at the printing temperature and hindered material flow during FDM 3D printing process. A minimal spacing (1 mm) between parallel plates of the radiator-like design deemed essential to boost drug release from the structure. This is the first report of utilising this widely used biodegradable polymer species (PEOs and PEG) in FDM 3D printing.
    • Additive Manufacturing of a Point-of-Care “Polypill:” Fabrication of Concept Capsules of Complex Geometry with Bespoke Release against Cardiovascular Disease

      Pereira, B.C.; Isreb, Abdullah; Isreb, Mohammad; Forbes, R.T.; Oga, E.F.; Alhnan, M.A. (2020-07)
      Polypharmacy is often needed for the management of cardiovascular diseases and is associated with poor adherence to treatment. Hence, highly flexible and adaptable systems are in high demand to accommodate complex therapeutic regimens. A novel design approach is employed to fabricate highly modular 3D printed “polypill” capsules with bespoke release patterns for multiple drugs. Complex structures are devised using combined fused deposition modeling 3D printing aligned with hot-filling syringes. Two unibody highly modular capsule skeletons with four separate compartments are devised: i) concentric format: two external compartments for early release while two inner compartments for delayed release, or ii) parallel format: where nondissolving capsule shells with free-pass corridors and dissolution rate-limiting pores are used to achieve immediate and extended drug releases, respectively. Controlling drug release is achieved through digital manipulation of shell thickness in the concentric format or the size of the rate limiting pores in the parallel format. Target drug release profiles are achieved with variable orders and configurations, hence confirming the modular nature with capacity to accommodate therapeutics of different properties. Projection of the pharmacokinetic profile of this digital system capsules reveal how the developed approach can be applied in dose individualization and achieving multiple desired pharmacokinetic profiles.
    • Aspirin and ibuprofen, in bulk and nanoforms: effects on DNA damage in peripheral lymphocytes from breast cancer patients and healthy individuals

      Dandah, Osama M.M.; Najafzadeh, Mojgan; Isreb, Mohammad; Linforth, R.; Tait, C.; Baumgartner, Adolf; Anderson, Diana (2018-02)
      Regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be protective against tumours, including breast cancer. We have studied the effects of ibuprofen and aspirin on DNA damage in lymphocytes obtained from breast cancer patients and healthy female controls. Both nanoparticle (NPs) and bulk formulations were used in the comet and micronucleus (MN) assays. Non-toxic doses (250 ng/ml ibuprofen; 500 ng/ml aspirin) were tested. Aspirin, both bulk and nano formulations, significantly reduced DNA damage measured with the comet and micronucleus assays; the nano formulation was more effective. Ibuprofen was not effective in the comet assay but showed a significant reduction in MN frequency, with the nano formulation being more effective. NPs may have better penetration through the nuclear membrane relative to the bulk formulation. NSAIDs such as aspirin and ibuprofen may have a promising role in cancer prevention and treatment.
    • Co-delivery of a RanGTP inhibitory peptide and doxorubicin using dual loaded liposomal carriers to combat chemotherapeutic resistance in breast cancer cells

      Haggag, Y.; Abu Ras, Bayan; El-Tanani, Yahia; Tambuwala, M.M.; McCarron, P.; Isreb, Mohammad; El-Tanani, Mohamed (2020-11)
      Multidrug resistance (MDR) limits the beneficial outcomes of conventional breast cancer chemotherapy. Ras-related nuclear protein (Ran-GTP) plays a key role in these resistance mechanisms, assisting cancer cells to repair damage to DNA. Herein, we investigate the co-delivery of Ran-RCC1 inhibitory peptide (RAN-IP) and doxorubicin (DOX) to breast cancer cells using liposomal nanocarriers. A liposomal delivery system, co-encapsulating DOX, and RAN-IP, was prepared using a thin-film rehydration technique. Dual-loaded liposomes were optimized by systematic modification of formulation variables. Real-Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction was used to determine Ran-GTP mRNA expression. In vitro cell lines were used to evaluate the effect of loaded liposomes on the viability of breast and lung cancer cell lines. In vivo testing was performed on a murine Solid Ehrlich Carcinoma model. RAN-IP reversed the Ran-expression-mediated MDR by inhibiting the Ran DNA damage repair function. Co-administration of RAN-IP enhanced sensitivity of DOX in breast cancer cell lines. Finally, liposome-mediated co-delivery with RAN-IP improved the anti-tumor effect of DOX in tumor-bearing mice when compared to single therapy. This study is the first to show the simultaneous delivery of RAN-IP and DOX using liposomes can be synergistic with DOX and lead to tumor regression in vitro and in vivo.
    • A Combined Rheological and Thermomechanical Analysis Approach for the Assessment of Pharmaceutical Polymer Blends

      Isreb, Mohammad; Chalkia, Marianiki; Gough, Timothy D.; Forbes, Robert T.; Timmins, P. (MDPI, 2022-08)
      The viscoelastic nature of polymeric formulations utilised in drug products imparts unique thermomechanical attributes during manufacturing and over the shelf life of the product. Nevertheless, it adds to the challenge of understanding the precise mechanistic behaviour of the product at the microscopic and macroscopic level during each step of the process. Current thermomechanical and rheological characterisation techniques are limited to assessing polymer performance to a single phase and are especially hindered when the polymers are undergoing thermomechanical transitions. Since pharmaceutical processing can occur at these transition conditions, this study successfully proposes a thermomechanical characterisation approach combining both mechanical and rheological data to construct a comprehensive profiling of polymeric materials spanning both glassy and rubbery phases. This approach has been used in this study to assess the mechanical and rheological behaviour of heterogenous polymer blends of hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) over a shearing rate range of 0.1–100 s−1 and a temperature range of 30–200 °C. The results indicate that HPC and HPMC do not appear to interact when mixing and that their mixture exhibits the mechanistic properties of the two individual polymers in accordance with their ratio in the mixture. The ability to characterise the behaviour of the polymers and their mixtures before, throughout, and after the glassy to rubbery phase transition by application of the combined techniques provides a unique insight towards a quality-by-design approach to this and other polymer-based solid dosage forms, designed with the potential to accelerate their formulation process through obviating the need for multiple formulation trials.
    • Comparison of DNA damage in human lymphocytes from healthy individuals and asthma, COPD and lung cancer patients treated in vitro / ex vivo with the bulk nano forms of aspirin and ibuprofen

      Najafzadeh, Mojgan; Ali, Aftab H.M.; Jacobe, B.; Isreb, Mohammad; Gopalan, Rajendran C.; Shang, Lijun (2015)
      Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) inhibit COX enzyme activity, a significant mechanism of action of NSAIDs. Inflammation is associated with increasing cancer incidence. Recent pre-clinical and clinical studies have shown that NSAID treatment could cause an anti-tumour effect in cancers. Such studies are lengthy and expensive. The present study, however, examined DNA damage in the Comet and micronucleus assays in peripheral blood lymphocytes of patients with respiratory diseases and healthy individuals using the nanoparticle (NP) and bulk versions of the NSAIDs, aspirin and ibuprofen. Lymphocytes are suitable surrogate cells for cancers and other disease states. DNA damage decreased in lymphocytes from healthy individuals, asthma, COPD and lung cancer patient groups after treatment with aspirin nano-suspension (ASP N) and ibuprofen nano-suspension (IBU N) compared to their bulk version (micro-suspension) in both assays. However, when ASP N was compared to untreated lymphocytes in all groups in the Comet assay, DNA damage significantly decreased in all groups, except the asthma group. When IBU N was compared to untreated lymphocytes, in healthy individuals and the lung cancer group, DNA damage decreased, but increased in asthma and COPD groups. Similarly, micronuclei (MNi) increased after ASP N and IBU N in the healthy individual and lung cancer groups, and decreased in asthma and COPD groups. Also shows that whilst there are basic similarities with different genetic endpoints in terms of nano and bulk forms, but highlights some differences between the disease states examined. Furthermore, lymphocyte responses after IBU N and ibuprofen bulk were investigated by patch-clamp experiments demonstrating that IBU N inhibited ion channel activity by 20%. This molecular epidemiology approach mirrors pre-clinical and clinical findings, and provides new information using nanoparticles.
    • DNA Damage in Healthy Individuals and Respiratory Patients after Treating Whole Blood In vitro with the Bulk and Nano Forms of NSAIDs

      Najafzadeh, Mojgan; Normington, Charmaine; Jacob, B.K.; Isreb, Mohammad; Gopalan, Rajendran C.; Anderson, Diana (2016-09-28)
      Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) inhibit COX enzyme activity which affects the inflammatory response. Inflammation is associated with increasing cancer incidence. Pre-clinical and clinical studies have shown that NSAID treatment could cause an anti-tumor effect in cancers. In the present study, blood was taken from healthy individuals (n = 17) and patients with respiratory diseases or lung cancer (n = 36). White blood cells (WBC) were treated with either a micro-suspension, i.e., bulk (B) or nano-suspension (N) of aspirin (ASP) or ibuprofen (IBU) up to 500 μg/ml in the comet assay and up to 125 μg/ml in the micronucleus assay. In this study results were compared against untreated lymphocytes and their corresponding treated groups. The results showed, that NSAIDs in their nano form significantly reduced the DNA damage in WBCs from lung cancer patients in bulk and nano compared to untreated lymphocytes. Also, there was a decrease in the level of DNA damage in the comet assay after treating WBCs from healthy individuals, asthma and COPD groups with aspirin N (ASP N) but not with IBU N. In addition, the number of micronuclei decreased after treatment with NSAIDs in their nano form (ASP N and IBU N) in the healthy as well as in the lung cancer group. However, this was not the case for micronucleus frequency in asthma and COPD patients. These data show that lymphocytes from different groups respond differently to treatment with ASP and IBU as measured by comet assay and micronucleus assay, and that the size of the suspended particles of the drugs affects responses.
    • DNA damage in lymphocytes from healthy individuals and respiratory disease patients, treated ex vivo/in vitro with aspirin and ibuprofen nanoparticles compared to their bulk forms

      Anderson, Diana; Najafzadeh, Mojgan; Ali, Aftab H.M.; Jacobe, B.; Isreb, Mohammad; Gopalan, Rajendran C.; Shang, Lijun (2014)
    • Ex vivo/in vitro protective effect of myricetin bulk and nano-forms on PhIP-induced DNA damage in lymphocytes from healthy individuals and pre-cancerous MGUS patients

      Akhtar, Shabana; Najafzadeh, Mojgan; Isreb, Mohammad; Newton, L.; Gopalan, Rajendran C.; Anderson, Diana (2020-07)
      2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) is a central dietary mutagen, produced when proteinaceous food is heated at very high temperatures potentially causing DNA strand breaks. This study investigates the protective potential of a well-researched flavonoid, myricetin in its bulk and nano-forms against oxidative stress induced ex vivo/in vitro by PhIP in lymphocytes from pre-cancerous monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) patients and those from healthy individuals. The results from the Comet assay revealed that in the presence of myricetin bulk (10 µM) and myricetin nano (20 µM), the DNA damage caused by a high dose of PhIP (100 µM) was significantly (P < 0.001) reduced in both groups. However, nano has shown better protection in lymphocytes from pre-cancerous patients. Consistent results were obtained from the micronucleus assay where micronuclei frequency in binucleated cells significantly decreased upon supplementing PhIP with myricetin bulk (P < 0.01) and myricetin nano (P < 0.001), compared to the PhIP treatment alone. To briefly determine the cellular pathways involved in the protective role of myricetin against PhIP, we studied gene expression of P53 and ATR kinase (ATM- and Rad3-related), using the real-time PCR technique.
    • Fabrication and characterization of dexibuprofen nanocrystals using microchannel fluidic reactor

      Khan, J.; Bshir, S.; Khan, M.A.; Mohammad, Mohammad A.; Isreb, Mohammad (2018-08)
      Purpose: Dexibuprofen is an enantiomer of ibuprofen with low bioavailability which results from its hydrophobic nature. Nanosuspensions have developed a podium to solve the in vitro dissolution problem that frequently occurs in current research. Materials and methods: The drug and polymer solutions were mixed in a microchannel fluid reactor and the successive embryonic nanosuspension was decanted into a vial having the polymer solution. The impact of different process and formulation parameters including inlet angle, antisolvent and solvent flow rate(s), mixing time, drug concentration, polymer type and concentration was evaluated. Results and discussion: Stable dexibuprofen nanocrystals with a particle size of 45±3.0 nm and polydispersity index of 0.19±0.06 were obtained. Differential scanning calorimetry and powder X-ray diffraction confirmed the crystallinity. The key parameters observed were inlet angle 10°, antisolvent to solvent volume of 2.0/0.5 mL/min, 60 minutes mixing with 5 minutes sonication, Poloxamer-407 with a concentration of 0.5% w/v and drug concentration (5 mg/mm). The 60-day stability studies revealed that the nanocrystals were stable at 4°C and 25°C. The scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy images showed crystalline morphology with a homogeneous distribution. Conclusion: Stable dexibuprofen nanocrystals with retentive distinctive characteristics and having marked dissolution rate compared to raw and marketed formulations were efficiently fabricated. In future perspectives, these nanocrystals could be converted to solid dosage form and the process can be industrialized by chemical engineering approach
    • From ‘fixed dose combinations’ to ‘a dynamic dose combiner’: 3D printed bi-layer antihypertensive tablets

      Sadia, M.; Isreb, Abdullah; Abbadi, I.; Isreb, Mohammad; Aziz, D.; Selo, A.; Timmins, P.; Alhnan, M.A. (2018-10)
      There is an increased evidence for treating hypertension by a combination of two or more drugs. Increasing the number of daily intake of tablets has been reported to negatively affect the compliance of patients. Therefore, numerous fixed dose combinations (FDCs) have been introduced to the market. However, the inherent rigid nature of FDCs does not allow the titration of the dose of each single component for an individual patient's needs. In this work, flexible dose combinations of two anti-hypertensive drugs in a single bilayer tablet with a range of doses were fabricated using dual fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printer. Enalapril maleate (EM) and hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) loaded filaments were produced via hot-melt extrusion (HME). Computer software was utilised to design sets of oval bi-layer tablets of individualised doses. Thermal analysis and x-ray diffractometer (XRD) indicated that HCT remained crystalline in the polymeric matrix whilst EM appeared to be in an amorphous form. The interaction between anionic EM and cationic methacrylate polymer may have contributed to a drop in the glass transition temperature (Tg) of the filament and obviated the need for a plasticiser. Across all tablet sets, the methacrylate polymeric matrix provided immediate drug release profiles. This dynamic dosing system maintained the advantages of FDCs while providing a superior flexibility of dosing range, hence offering an optimal clinical solution to hypertension therapy in a patient-centric healthcare service.
    • An in vitro investigation into the protective and genotoxic effects of myricetin bulk and nano forms in lymphocytes of MGUS patients and healthy individuals

      Akhtar, Shabana; Najafzadeh, Mojgan; Isreb, Mohammad; Newton, L.; Gopalan, Rajendran C.; Anderson, Diana (2020-07)
      The present study investigated the genoprotective and genotoxic effects of myricetin bulk (10 μM) and nano forms (20 μM) in the lymphocytes from pre-cancerous, monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance (MGUS) patients and healthy individuals using the Comet and micronucleus assays. The study also evaluated the effect of myricetin on P53 expression levels, using the Western blot technique. Results showed that throughout the in-vitro treatment, lymphocytes from the patients group had higher levels of baseline DNA damage compared to the healthy group. Myricetin in both forms induced significant DNA damage, only at higher concentrations (>40 μM). The micronucleus assay showed a significant reduction (P < 0.01) in the frequency of micronuclei in mono-nucleated cells in the patient group treated with the nano form of myricetin at the non-toxic dose of 20 μM. There was a significant increase in both gene and protein P53 levels in lymphocytes isolated from healthy individuals and pre-cancerous patients. These results suggested a protective effect of myricetin and indicated its nutritional supplement potential for protection against cancer development among patients suffering from MGUS.
    • In-process rheometry as a PAT tool for hot melt extrusion

      Kelly, Adrian L.; Gough, Timothy D.; Isreb, Mohammad; Dhumal, Ravindra S.; Jones, J.W.; Nicholson, S.; Dennis, A.B.; Paradkar, Anant R. (2018)
      Real time measurement of melt rheology has been investigated as a Process Analytical Technology (PAT) to monitor hot melt extrusion of an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) in a polymer matrix. A developmental API was melt mixed with a commercial copolymer using a heated twin screw extruder at different API loadings and set temperatures. The extruder was equipped with an instrumented rheological slit die which incorporated three pressure transducers flush mounted to the die surface. Pressure drop measurements within the die at a range of extrusion throughputs were used to calculate rheological parameters such as shear viscosity and exit pressure, related to shear and elastic melt flow properties respectively. Results showed that the melt exhibited shear thinning behavior whereby viscosity decreased with increasing flow rate. Increase in drug loading and set extrusion temperature resulted in a reduction in melt viscosity. Shear viscosity and exit pressure measurements were found to be sensitive to API loading. These findings suggest that this technique could be used as a simple tool to measure material attributes in-line, to build better overall process understanding for hot melt extrusion.
    • Novel Ran-RCC1 inhibitory peptide-loaded nanoparticles have anti-cancer efficacy in vitro and in vivo

      Haggag, Y.A.; Matchett, K.B.; Falconer, Robert A.; Isreb, Mohammad; Jones, Jason; Faheem, A.; McCarron, P.; El-Tanani, Mohamed (2019-02)
      The delivery of anticancer agents to their subcellular sites of action is a significant challenge for effective cancer therapy. Peptides, which are integral to several oncogenic pathways, have significant potential to be utilised as cancer therapeutics due to their selectivity, high potency and lack of normal cell toxicity. Novel Ras protein-Regulator of chromosome condensation 1 (Ran-RCC1) inhibitory peptides designed to interact with Ran, a novel therapeutic target in breast cancer, were delivered by entrapment into polyethylene glycol-poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) PEG-PLGA polymeric nanoparticles (NPs). A modified double emulsion solvent evaporation technique was used to optimise the physicochemical properties of these peptide-loaded biodegradable NPs. The anti-cancer activity of peptide-loaded NPs was studied in vitro using Ran-expressing metastatic breast (MDA-MB-231) and lung cancer (A549) cell lines, and in vivo using Solid Ehrlich Carcinoma-bearing mice. The anti-metastatic activity of peptide-loaded NPs was investigated using migration, invasion and colony formation assays in vitro. A PEG-PLGA-nanoparticle encapsulating N-terminal peptide showed a pronounced antitumor and anti-metastatic action in lung and breast cancer cells in vitro and caused a significant reduction of tumor volume and associated tumor growth inhibition of breast cancer model in vivo. These findings suggest that the novel inhibitory peptides encapsulated into PEGylated PLGA NPs are delivered effectively to interact and deactivate Ran. This novel Ran-targeting peptide construct shows significant potential for therapy of breast cancer and other cancers mediated by Ran overexpression.
    • Pluronic F127 thermosensitive injectable smart hydrogels for controlled drug delivery system development

      Shriky, Banah; Kelly, Adrian L.; Isreb, Mohammad; Babenko, Maksims; Mahmoudi, N.; Rogers, S.; Shebanova, O.; Snow, T.; Gough, Timothy D. (2020-04-01)
      Understanding structure-property relationships is critical for the development of new drug delivery systems. This study investigates the properties of Pluronic smart hydrogel formulations for future use as injectable controlled drug carriers. The smart hydrogels promise to enhance patient compliance, decrease side effects and reduce dose and frequency. Pharmaceutically, these systems are attractive due to their unique sol-gel phase transition in the body, biocompatibility, safety and injectability as solutions before transforming into gel matrices at body temperature. We quantify the structural changes of F127 systems under controlled temperature after flow, as experienced during real bodily injection. Empirical formulae combining the coupled thermal and shear dependency are produced to aid future application of these systems. Induced structural transitions measured in-situ by small angle x-ray and neutron scattering reveal mixed oriented structures that can be exploited to tailor the drug release profile.
    • ROS-induced Oxidative Damage in Lymphocytes Ex Vivo/in Vitro From Healthy Individuals and MGUS Patients: Protection by Myricetin Bulk and Nanoforms

      Akhtar, Shabana; Najafzadeh, Mojgan; Isreb, Mohammad; Newton, L.; Gopalan, Rajendran C.; Anderson, Diana (2020-04)
      We investigated the protective role of myricetin bulk and nanoforms, against reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced oxidative stress caused by hydrogen peroxide and tertiary-butyl hydro peroxide in lymphocytes in vitro from healthy individuals and those from pre-cancerous patients suffering with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). The change in intracellular reactive oxygen species was measured once cells were treated with myricetin bulk forms and nanoforms with and without either hydrogen peroxide or tertiary-butyl hydro peroxide co-supplementation. The direct and indirect antioxidant activity of myricetin was spectrofluometrically measured using the fluorescent dye 2',7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate and using the Comet assay, respectively. Hydrogen peroxide (50 µM) and tertiary-butyl hydro peroxide (300 µM) induced a higher level of reactive oxygen species-related DNA damage and strand breaks. Addition of myricetin nanoform (20 µM) and bulk (10 µM) form could, however, significantly prevent hydrogen peroxide- and tertiary-butyl hydro peroxide-induced oxidative imbalances and the nanoform was more effective. Glutathione levels were also quantified using a non-fluorescent dye. Results suggest that myricetin treatment had no significant effect on the cellular antioxidant enzyme, glutathione. The current study also investigates the effect of myricetin on the induction of double-strand breaks by staining the gamma-H2AX foci immunocytochemically. It was observed that myricetin does not induce double-strand breaks at basal levels rather demonstrated a protective effect.
    • Smart nanocrystals of artemether: fabrication, characterization, and comparative in vitro and in vivo antimalarial evaluation

      Shah, S.M.H.; Ullah, F.; Khan, Shahzeb; Shah, S.M.M.; de Matas, Marcel; Hussain, Z.; Minhas, M.U.; AbdEl-Salam, N.M.; Assi, Khaled H.; Isreb, Mohammad (2016-11-24)
      Artemether (ARTM) is a very effective antimalarial drug with poor solubility and consequently low bioavailability. Smart nanocrystals of ARTM with particle size of 161±1.5 nm and polydispersity index of 0.172±0.01 were produced in <1 hour using a wet milling technology, Dena® DM-100. The crystallinity of the processed ARTM was confirmed using differential scanning calorimetry and powder X-ray diffraction. The saturation solubility of the ARTM nanocrystals was substantially increased to 900 µg/mL compared to the raw ARTM in water (145.0±2.3 µg/mL) and stabilizer solution (300.0±2.0 µg/mL). The physical stability studies conducted for 90 days demonstrated that nanocrystals stored at 2°C-8°C and 25°C were very stable compared to the samples stored at 40°C. The nanocrystals were also shown to be stable when processed at acidic pH (2.0). The solubility and dissolution rate of ARTM nanocrystals were significantly increased (P<0.05) compared to those of its bulk powder form. The results of in vitro studies showed significant antimalarial effect (P<0.05) against Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. The IC50 (median lethal oral dose) value of ARTM nanocrystals was 28- and 54-fold lower than the IC50 value of unprocessed drug and 13- and 21-fold lower than the IC50 value of the marketed tablets, respectively. In addition, ARTM nanocrystals at the same dose (2 mg/kg) showed significantly (P<0.05) higher reduction in percent parasitemia (89%) against P. vivax compared to the unprocessed (27%), marketed tablets (45%), and microsuspension (60%). The acute toxicity study demonstrated that the LD50 value of ARTM nanocrystals is between 1,500 mg/kg and 2,000 mg/kg when given orally. This study demonstrated that the wet milling technology (Dena® DM-100) can produce smart nanocrystals of ARTM with enhanced antimalarial activities.
    • Tablet fragmentation without a disintegrant: A novel design approach for accelerating disintegration and drug release from 3D printed cellulosic tablets

      Arafat, B.; Wojsz, M.; Isreb, A.; Forbes, R.T.; Isreb, Mohammad; Ahmed, W.; Arafat, T.; Alhnan, M.A. (2018-06-15)
      Fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printing has shown the most immediate potential for on-demand dose personalisation to suit particular patient's needs. However, FDM 3D printing often involves employing a relatively large molecular weight thermoplastic polymer and results in extended release pattern. It is therefore essential to fast-track drug release from the 3D printed objects. This work employed an innovative design approach of tablets with unique built-in gaps (Gaplets) with the aim of accelerating drug release. The novel tablet design is composed of 9 repeating units (blocks) connected with 3 bridges to allow the generation of 8 gaps. The impact of size of the block, the number of bridges and the spacing between different blocks was investigated. Increasing the inter-block space reduced mechanical resistance of the unit, however, tablets continued to meet pharmacopeial standards for friability. Upon introduction into gastric medium, the 1 mm spaces gaplet broke into mini-structures within 4 min and met the USP criteria of immediate release products (86.7% drug release at 30 min). Real-time ultraviolet (UV) imaging indicated that the cellulosic matrix expanded due to swelling of hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) upon introduction to the dissolution medium. This was followed by a steady erosion of the polymeric matrix at a rate of 8 μm/min. The design approach was more efficient than a comparison conventional formulation approach of adding disintegrants to accelerate tablet disintegration and drug release. This work provides a novel example where computer-aided design was instrumental at modifying the performance of solid dosage forms. Such an example may serve as the foundation for a new generation of dosage forms with complicated geometric structures to achieve functionality that is usually achieved by a sophisticated formulation approach.