• Amorphous polymeric drug salts as ionic solid dispersion forms of ciprofloxacin

      Mesallati, H.; Umerska, A.; Paluch, Krzysztof J.; Tajber, L. (2017)
      Ciprofloxacin (CIP) is a poorly soluble drug that also displays poor permeability. Attempts to improve the solubility of this drug to date have largely focused on the formation of crystalline salts and metal complexes. The aim of this study was to prepare amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) by ball milling CIP with various polymers. Following examination of their solid state characteristics and physical stability, the solubility advantage of these ASDs was studied, and their permeability was investigated via parallel artificial membrane permeability assay (PAMPA). Finally, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of the ASDs were compared to those of CIP. It was discovered that acidic polymers, such as Eudragit L100, Eudragit L100C==, Carbopol and HPMCAS, were necessary for the amorphization of CIP. In each case, the positively charged secondary amine of CIP was found to interact with carboxylate groups in the polymers, forming amorphous polymeric drug salts. Although the ASDs began to crystallize within days under accelerated stability conditions, they remained fully XCray amorphous following exposure to 90% RH at 25 oC, and demonstrated higher than predicted glass transition temperatures. The solubility of CIP in water and simulated intestinal fluid was also increased by all of the ASDs studied. Unlike a number of other solubility enhancing formulations, the ASDs did not decrease the permeability of the drug. Similarly, no decrease in antibiotic efficacy was observed, and significant improvements in the MIC and MBC of CIP were obtained with ASDs containing HPMCASC") and HPMCASCMG. Therefore, ASDs may be a viable alternative for formulating CIP with improved solubility, bioavailability and antimicrobial activity.
    • Chondroitin-based nanoplexes as peptide delivery systems-Investigations into the self-assembly process, solid-state and extended release characteristics

      Umerska, A.; Paluch, Krzysztof J.; Santos-Martinez, M.J.; Medina, C.; Corrigan, O.I.; Tajber, L. (2015-06)
      A new type of self-assembled polyelectrolyte complex nanocarrier composed of chondroitin (CHON) and protamine (PROT) was designed and the ability of the carriers to bind salmon calcitonin (sCT) was examined. The response of sCT-loaded CHON/PROT NPs to a change in the properties of the liquid medium, e.g. its pH, composition or ionic strength was studied and in vitro peptide release was assessed. The biocompatibility of the NPs was evaluated in Caco-2 cells. CHON/PROT NPs were successfully obtained with properties that were dependent on the concentration of the polyelectrolytes and their mixing ratio. X-ray diffraction determined the amorphous nature of the negatively charged NPs, while those with the positive surface potential were semi-crystalline. sCT was efficiently associated with the nanocarriers (98-100%) and a notably high drug loading (13-38%) was achieved. The particles had negative zeta potential values and were homogenously dispersed with sizes between 60 and 250 nm. CHON/PROT NPs released less than 10% of the total loaded peptide in the first hour of the in vitro release studies. The enthalpy of the decomposition exotherm correlated with the amount of sCT remaining in NPs after the release experiments. The composition of medium and its ionic strength was found to have a considerable influence on the release of sCT from CHON/PROT NPs. Complexation to CHON markedly reduced the toxic effects exerted by PROT and the NPs were compatible and well tolerated by Caco-2 cells.
    • Comparative study of different methods for the prediction of drug-polymer solubility

      Knopp, M.M.; Tajber, L.; Tian, Y.; Olesen, N.E.; Jones, D.S.; Kozyra, A.; Lobmann, K.; Paluch, Krzysztof J.; Brennan, C.M.; Holm, R.; et al. (2015-07)
      In this study, a comparison of different methods to predict drug−polymer solubility was carried out on binary systems consisting of five model drugs (paracetamol, chloramphenicol, celecoxib, indomethacin, and felodipine) and polyvinylpyrrolidone/vinyl acetate copolymers (PVP/VA) of different monomer weight ratios. The drug−polymer solubility at 25 °C was predicted using the Flory−Huggins model, from data obtained at elevated temperature using thermal analysis methods based on the recrystallization of a supersaturated amorphous solid dispersion and two variations of the melting point depression method. These predictions were compared with the solubility in the low molecular weight liquid analogues of the PVP/VA copolymer (N-vinylpyrrolidone and vinyl acetate). The predicted solubilities at 25 °C varied considerably depending on the method used. However, the three thermal analysis methods ranked the predicted solubilities in the same order, except for the felodipine−PVP system. Furthermore, the magnitude of the predicted solubilities from the recrystallization method and melting point depression method correlated well with the estimates based on the solubility in the liquid analogues, which suggests that this method can be used as an initial screening tool if a liquid analogue is available. The learnings of this important comparative study provided general guidance for the selection of the most suitable method(s) for the screening of drug−polymer solubility.
    • Formation and physicochemical properties of crystalline and amorphous salts with different stoichiometries formed between ciprofloxacin and succinic acid

      Paluch, Krzysztof J.; McCabe, T.; Müller-Bunz, B.; Corrigan, O.I.; Healy, A.M.; Tajber, L. (2013-08)
      Multi-ionizable compounds, such as dicarboxylic acids, offer the possibility of forming salts of drugs with multiple stoichiometries. Attempts to crystallize ciprofloxacin, a poorly water-soluble, amphoteric molecule with succinic acid (S) resulted in isolation of ciprofloxacin hemisuccinate (1:1) trihydrate (CHS-I) and ciprofloxacin succinate (2:1) tetrahydrate (CS-I). Anhydrous ciprofloxacin hemisuccinate (CHS-II) and anhydrous ciprofloxacin succinate (CS-II) were also obtained. It was also possible to obtain stoichiometrically equivalent amorphous salt forms, CHS-III and CS-III, by spray drying and milling, respectively, of the drug and acid. Anhydrous CHS and CS had melting points at ∼215 and ∼228 °C, while the glass transition temperatures of CHS-III and CS-III were ∼101 and ∼79 °C, respectively. Dynamic solubility studies revealed the metastable nature of CS-I in aqueous media, resulting in a transformation of CS-I to a mix of CHS-I and ciprofloxacin 1:3.7 hydrate, consistent with the phase diagram. CS-III was observed to dissolve noncongruently leading to high and sustainable drug solution concentrations in water at 25 and 37 °C, with the ciprofloxacin concentration of 58.8 ± 1.18 mg/mL after 1 h of the experiment at 37 °C. This work shows that crystalline salts with multiple stoichiometries and amorphous salts have diverse pharmaceutically relevant properties, including molecular, solid state, and solubility characteristics.
    • Heat induced evaporative antisolvent nanoprecipitation (HIEAN) of itraconazole

      Mugheirbi, N.A.; Paluch, Krzysztof J.; Tajber, L. (2014-08)
      Itraconazole (ITR) is an antifungal drug with a limited bioavailability due to its poor aqueous solubility. In this study, ITR was used to investigate the impact of nanonisation and solid state change on drug’s apparent solubility and dissolution. A bottom up approach to the production of amorphous ITR nanoparticles (NPs), composed of 100% drug, with a particle diameter below 250 nm, using heat induced evaporative antisolvent nanoprecipitation (HIEAN) from acetone was developed. The NPs demonstrated improved solubility and dissolution in simulated gastrointestinal conditions when compared to amorphous ITR microparticles. NPs produced with polyethylene glycol (PEG) or its methoxylated derivative (MPEG) as a stabiliser enabled the production of smaller NPs with narrower particle size distribution and enhanced apparent solubility. MPEG stabilised NPs gave the greatest ITR supersaturation levels (up to 11.6 ± 0.5 μg/ml) in simulated gastric fluids. The stabilising polymer was in an amorphous state. Dynamic vapour sorption data indicated no solid state changes in NP samples with water vapour at 25 °C, while crystallisation was apparent at 50 °C. HIEAN proved to be an efficient method of production of amorphous ITR NPs, with or without addition of a polymeric stabiliser, with enhanced pharmaceutical properties.
    • Impact of alternative solid state forms and specific surface area of high-dose, hydrophilic active pharmaceutical ingredients on tabletability

      Paluch, Krzysztof J.; Tajber, L.; Corrigan, O.I.; Healy, A.M. (2013-08)
      In order to investigate the effect of using different solid state forms and specific surface area (TBET) of active pharmaceutical ingredients on tabletability and dissolution performance, the mono- and dihydrated crystalline forms of chlorothiazide sodium and chlorothiazide potassium (CTZK) salts were compared to alternative anhydrous and amorphous forms, as well as to amorphous microparticles of chlorothiazide sodium and potassium which were produced by spray drying and had a large specific surface area. The tablet hardness and tensile strength, porosity, and specific surface area of single-component, convex tablets prepared at different compression pressures were characterized. Results confirmed the complexity of the compressibility mechanisms. In general it may be concluded that factors such as solid-state form (crystalline vs amorphous), type of hydration (presence of interstitial molecules of water, dehydrates), or specific surface area of the material have a direct impact on the tabletability of the powder. It was observed that, for powders of the same solid state form, those with a larger specific surface area compacted well, and better than powders of a lower surface area, even at relatively low compression pressures. Compacts prepared at lower compression pressures from high surface area porous microparticles presented the shortest times to dissolve, when compared with compacts made of equivalent materials, which had to be compressed at higher compression pressures in order to obtain satisfactory compacts. Therefore, materials composed of nanoparticulate microparticles (NPMPs) may be considered as suitable for direct compaction and possibly for inclusion in tablet formulations as bulking agents, APIs, carriers, or binders due to their good compactibility performance
    • Impact of process variables on the micromeritic and physicochemical properties of spray-dried microparticles, part II: physicochemical characterisation of spray-dried materials

      Paluch, Krzysztof J.; Tajber, L.; Amaro, M.I.; Corrigan, O.I.; Healy, A.M. (2012-11)
      Objectives  In this work we investigated the residual organic solvent content and physicochemical properties of spray-dried chlorothiazide sodium (CTZNa) and potassium (CTZK) salts. Methods  The powders were characterised by thermal, X-ray diffraction, infrared and dynamic vapour sorption (DVS) analyses. Solvent levels were investigated by Karl–Fischer titration and gas chromatography. Key findings  Spray-drying from water, methanol (MeOH) and mixes of MeOH and butyl acetate (BA) resulted in amorphous microparticles. The glass transition temperatures of CTZNa and CTZK were ∼192 and ∼159°C, respectively. These materials retained their amorphous nature when stored at 25°C in dry conditions for at least 6 months with no chemical decomposition observed. DVS determined the critical relative humidity of recrystallisation of CTZNa and CTZK to be 57% RH and 58% RH, respectively. The inlet temperature dependant oxidation of MeOH to formaldehyde was observed; the formaldehyde was seen to deposit within the amorphous matrix of spray-dried product. Spray-drying in the open blowing mode coupled with secondary drying resulted in a three-fold reduction in residual BA (below pharmacopoeial permitted daily exposure limit) compared to spray-drying in the closed mode. Conclusions  Experiments showed that recirculation of recovered drying gas increases the risk of deposition of residual solvents in the spray-dried product.
    • Impact of process variables on the micromeritic and physicochemical properties of spray-dried porous microparticles, part I: introduction of a new morphology classification system

      Paluch, Krzysztof J.; Tajber, L.; Corrigan, O.I.; Healy, A.M. (2012-11)
      Objectives This work investigated the impact of spray drying variables such as feedconcentration, solvent composition and the drying mode, on the micromeriticproperties of chlorothiazide sodium (CTZNa) and chlorothiazide potassium(CTZK).Methods Microparticles were prepared by spray drying and characterised usingthermal analysis, helium pycnometry, laser diffraction, specific surface area analysisand scanning electron microscopy.Key findings Microparticles produced under different process conditions pre-sented several types of morphology.To systematise the description of morphology ofmicroparticles, a novel morphology classification system was introduced. The shapeof the microparticles was described as spherical (1) or irregular (2) and the surfacewas classified as smooth (A) or crumpled (B). Three classes of morphology of micro-particles were discerned visually: class I, non-porous; classes II and III, comprisingdiffering types of porosity characteristics. The interior was categorised as solid/continuous (a), hollow (b), unknown (g) and hollow with microparticulate content(d). Nanoporous microparticles of CTZNa and CTZK, produced without recircula-tion of the drying gas, had the largest specific surface area of 72.3 and 90.2 m2/g,respectively, and presented morphology of class 1BIIIa.Conclusions Alteration of spray drying process variables, particularly solvent com-position and feed concentration can have a significant effect on the morphology ofspray dried microparticulate products. Morphology of spray dried particles may beusefully described using the morphology classification system.
    • Molecular dynamics and physical stability of amorphous nimesulide drug and its binary drug-polymer systems

      Knapik, J.; Wojnarowska, Z.; Grzybowska, K.; Tajber, L.; Mesallati, H.; Paluch, Krzysztof J.; Paluch, M. (2016)
      In this paper we study the effectiveness of three well known polymers: inulin, Soluplus and PVP in stabilizing amorphous form of nimesulide (NMS) drug. The re-crystallization tendency of pure drug as well as measured drug-polymer systems were examined at isothermal conditions by using broadband dielectric spectroscopy (BDS), and at non-isothermal conditions by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Our investigation has shown that the crystallization half-life time of pure NMS at 328 K is equal to 33 minutes. We found that this time can be prolonged to 40 years after adding to NMS 20% of PVP polymer. This polymer proved to be the best NMS’s stabilizer, while the worst stabilization effect was found after adding the inulin to NMS. Additionally, our DSC, BDS and FTIR studies indicate that for suppression of NMS’s re-crystallization in NMS-PVP system, the two mechanisms are responsible: the polymeric steric hindrances as well as the antiplastization effect excerted by the excipient.
    • Molecular origin of enhanced proton conductivity in anhydrous ionic systems

      Wojnarowska, Z.; Paluch, Krzysztof J.; Shoifet, E.; Schick, C.; Tajber, L.; Knapik, J.; Wlodarczyk, P.; Grzybowska, K.; Hensel-Bielowka, S.; Verevkin, S.P.; et al. (2015-01-28)
      Ionic systems with enhanced proton conductivity are widely viewed as promising electrolytes in fuel cells and batteries. Nevertheless, a major challenge toward their commercial applications is determination of the factors controlling the fast proton hopping in anhydrous conditions. To address this issue, we have studied novel proton-conducting materials formed via a chemical reaction of lidocaine base with a series of acids characterized by a various number of proton-active sites. From ambient and high pressure experimental data, we have found that there are fundamental differences in the conducting properties of the examined salts. On the other hand, DFT calculations revealed that the internal proton hopping within the cation structure strongly affects the pathways of mobility of the charge carrier. These findings offer a fresh look on the Grotthuss-type mechanism in protic ionic glasses as well as provide new ideas for the design of anhydrous materials with exceptionally high proton conductivity.
    • A novel approach to crystallisation of nanodispersible microparticles by spray drying for improved tabletability

      Paluch, Krzysztof J.; Tajber, L.; Adamczyk, B.; Corrigan, O.I.; Healy, A.M. (2012-10-15)
      High-dose API powders which are to be tableted by direct compression should have high compactibility and compressibility. This note reports on a novel approach to the manufacture of crystalline powders intended for direct compaction with improved compactibility and compressibility properties. The poorly compactable API, chlorothiazide, was spray dried from a water/acetone solvent mix producing additive-free nanocrystalline microparticles (NCMPs) of median particle size 3.5 μm. Tablets compacted from NCMPs had tensile strengths ranging from 0.5 to 4.6 MPa (compared to 0.6–0.9 MPa for tablets of micronised CTZ) at compression forces ranging from 6 kN to 13 kN. NCMP tablets also had high porosities (34–20%) and large specific surface areas (4.4–4.8 m2/g). The time taken for tablets made of NCMPs to erode was not statistically longer (p > 0.05) than for tablets made of micronised CTZ. Fragmentation of NCMPs on compression was observed. The volume fraction of particles below 1 μm present in the suspension recovered after erosion of NCMP tablets was 34.8 ± 3.43%, while no nanosized particles were detected in the slurry after erosion of compacted micronised CTZ.
    • Optimisation of the self-assembly process: production of stable, alginate-based polyelectrolyte nanocomplexes with protamine

      Dul, M.; Paluch, Krzysztof J.; Healy, A.M.; Sasse, A.; Tajber, L. (2017-06)
      The aim of this work was to investigate the possibility of covalent cross-linker-free, polyelectrolyte complex formation at the nanoscale between alginic acid (as sodium alginate, ALG) and protamine (PROT). Optimisation of the self-assembly conditions was performed by varying the type of polymer used, pH of component solutions, mass mixing ratio of the components and the speed and order of component addition on the properties of complexes. Homogenous particles with nanometric sizes resulted when an aqueous dispersion of ALG was rapidly mixed with a solution of PROT. The polyelectrolyte complex between ALG and PROT was confirmed by infrared spectroscopy. To facilitate incorporation of drugs soluble at low pH, pH of ALG dispersion was decreased to 2; however, no nanoparticles (NPs) were formed upon complexation with PROT. Adjusting pH of PROT solution to 3 resulted in the formation of cationic or anionic NPs with a size range 70–300 nm. Colloidal stability of selected alginic acid low/PROT formulations was determined upon storage at room temperature and in liquid media at various pH. Physical stability of NPs correlated with the initial surface charge of particles and was time- and pH-dependent. Generally, better stability was observed for anionic NPs stored as native dispersions and in liquids covering a range of pH.
    • Polymorphism in sulfadimidine/4- aminosalicylic acid cocrystals: solid-state characterization and physicochemical properties

      Grossjohann, C.; Serrano, D.R.; Paluch, Krzysztof J.; O'Connell, P.; Vella-Zarb, L.; Manesiotis, P.; McCabe, T.; Tajber, L.; Corrigan, O.I.; Healy, A.M. (2015-04)
      Polymorphism of crystalline drugs is a common phenomenon. However, the number of reported polymorphic cocrystals is very limited. In this work, the synthesis and solid state characterisation of a polymorphic cocrystal composed of sulfadimidine (SD) and 4- aminosalicylic acid (4-ASA) is reported for the first time. By liquid-assisted milling, the SD:4-ASA 1:1 form I cocrystal, the structure of which has been previously reported, was formed. By spray drying, a new polymorphic form (form II) of the SD:4-ASA 1:1 cocrystal was discovered which could also be obtained by solvent evaporation from ethanol and acetone. Structure determination of the form II cocrystal was calculated using high resolution X-ray powder diffraction. The solubility of the SD:4-ASA 1:1 cocrystal was dependent on the pH and predicted by a model established for a two amphoteric component cocrystal. The form I cocrystal was found to be thermodynamically more stable in aqueous solution than form II, which showed transformation to form I. Dissolution studies revealed that the dissolution rate of SD from both cocrystals was enhanced when compared to a physical equimolar mixture and pure SD.
    • Self-assembled carrageenan/protamine polyelectrolyte nanoplexes-Investigation of critical parameters governing their formation and characteristics

      Dul, M.; Paluch, Krzysztof J.; Kelly, H.; Healy, A.M.; Sasse, A.; Tajber, L. (2015-06-05)
      The aim of this work was to investigate the feasibility of cross-linker free polyelectrolyte complex formation at the nanoscale between carrageenan (CAR) and protamine (PROT). The properties of CAR/PROT nanoparticles (NPs) were dependent on the carrageenan type: kappa (KC), iota (IC) and lambda (LC), concentration of components, addition of divalent cations, weight mixing ratio (WMR) of constituents and mode of component addition. In the case of 0.1% w/v solutions, IC-based NPs had the smallest particle sizes (100-150nm) and low polydispersity indices (0.1-0.4). A decrease in the solution concentration from 0.1% to 0.05% w/v enabled the formation of KC/PROT NPs. All carrageenans exhibited the ability to form NPs with surface charge ranging from -190 to 40mV. The inclusion of divalent cations caused an increase in the particle size and zeta potential. Infrared analysis confirmed the presence of a complex between CAR and PROT and showed that IC chains undergo structural changes when forming NPs. Colloidal stability of NPs was related to the initial surface charge of particles and was time- and pH-dependent. IC was found to be the most suitable type of CAR when forming nanoplexes with PROT.
    • Self-assembled hyaluronate/protamine polyelectrolyte nanoplexes: Synthesis, stability, biocompatibility and potential use as peptide carriers

      Umerska, A.; Paluch, Krzysztof J.; Santos Martinez, M.-J.; Corrigan, O.I.; Medina, C.; Tajber, L. (2014)
      This work investigates a new type of polyelectrolyte complex nanocarrier composed of hyaluronic acid (HA) and protamine (PROT). Small (approximately 60 nm) and negatively charged nanoparticles (NPs) with a polydispersity index of less than 0.2 were obtained with properties that were dependent on the mixing ratio, concentration of polyelectrolytes and molecular weight of HA. Salmon calcitonin (sCT) was efficiently (up to 100%) associated with the NPs, and the drug loading (9.6-39% w/w) was notably high, possibly due to an interaction between HA and sCT. The NPs released ~70-80% of the sCT after 24 hours, with the estimated total amount of released sCT depending on the amount of HA and PROT present in the NPs. The isoelectric point of the NPs was close to pH 2, and the negative surface charge was maintained above this pH. The HA/PROT nanoplexes protected the sCT from enzymatic degradation and showed low toxicity to intestinal epithelial cells, and thus may be a promising oral delivery system for peptides.