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Identification And Molecular Interpretation Of The Effects Of Drug Incorporation On The Self-emulsification Process Using Spectroscopic, Micropolarimetric And Microscopic Measurements.

A. Mercuri, P. Belton, P. Royall, S. Barker
Published 2012 · Chemistry, Medicine

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Addition of a drug to a self-emulsifying drug delivery system (SEDDS) can affect the emulsification process after administration, leading to variation in the emulsion droplet size formed and potentially its clinical behavior (Mercuri et al., Pharm. Res., 2011, 28, 1540-1551). However, the mechanisms involved and, in particular, the location of the drug within the system are poorly understood. Here, we have investigated the location of a model drug, ibuprofen, in the emulsions formed from a simple anhydrous SEDDS (soybean oil, Tween 80 and Span 80), using a range of physical characterization techniques. (1)H NMR studies showed an interaction between the drug and the polyoxyethylene chains of the surfactant Tween 80. Micropolarity assessment of the emulsion droplet interfacial region, using the chemical probes pyrene and Reichardt's dye, confirmed this interaction, and suggested that the drug was altering the microenvironment around the surfactants, and hence the behavior of the SEDDS with water during emulsification. Both dielectric spectroscopy and polarized light microscopy highlighted the differential behavior with water of placebo and drug-loaded SEDDS, also seen in the initial visual observational studies on the emulsification performance of the SEDDS. (1)H NMR studies with three other NSAIDs indicate that this effect is not confined to ibuprofen alone. The study has therefore indicated that the drug's influence on the emulsification process may be related to interactions within the microenvironment of the surfactant layer. Furthermore, such interactions may be usefully identified and characterized using a combination of micropolarity, spectroscopic and microscopic methods.
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