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Silica Nanoparticle Stabilization of Liquid Crystalline Lipid Dispersions: Impact on Enzymatic Digestion and Drug Solubilization

[ Vol. 12 , Issue. 1 ]


Achal B. Bhatt, Timothy J. Barnes and Clive A. Prestidge   Pages 47 - 55 ( 9 )


The high internal surface area and drug solubilizing capacity of liquid crystal lipids makes them promising oral drug delivery systems. Pluronic F127 is typically used to disperse highly viscous cubic liquid crystal lipids into cubosomes; however, such copolymers alter the internal structure and provide little control over enzymatic digestion. This study aimed to use hydrophilic silica nanoparticles to stabilize glyceryl monooleate (GMO) cubosomes prepared by ultrasonication. We investigate the influence of silica nanoparticles size and concentration on the physical (colloidal) and chemical (enzymatic digestion) stability, as well as in vitro solubilization of cinnarizine as a poorly soluble model drug. Silica stabilized nanostructured liquid crystal dispersions (120 nm to150 nm in diameter and zeta potentials of-30 mV to -60 mV) were successfully prepared with excellent long-term stability (<10% size change after 30 days). Silica stabilized GMO cubosomes demonstrated reduced enzymatic digestion compared to pluronic F127 stabilized cubosomes. This reduced digestion was attributed to a combination of adsorbed silica nanoparticles acting as a physical barrier and excess dispersed silica adsorbing/scavenging the lipase enzyme. Under simulated intestinal digestion conditions, silica stabilized GMO cubosomes showed a greater solubilization capacity for cinnarizine, which precipitated in non-crystalline form, in comparison to pure drug suspensionsor pluronic F127 stabilized GMO cubosomes. Silica nanoparticle stabilized GMO liquid crystal dispersions are a promising oral delivery vehicle.


Cubosomes, cinnarizine, drug solubilization, glyceryl monooleate, lipid digestion, silica nanoparticles.


Ian Wark Research Institute, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes Campus, Mawson Lakes, SA 5095, Australia.

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