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Porous Nanostructure, Lipid Composition, And Degree Of Drug Supersaturation Modulate In Vitro Fenofibrate Solubilization In Silica-Lipid Hybrids

Ruba Almasri, Paul Joyce, Hayley B. Schultz, Nicky Thomas, Kristen E. Bremmell, Clive A. Prestidge

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The unique nanostructured matrix obtained by silica-lipid hybrids (SLHs) is well known to improve the dissolution, absorption, and bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs (PWSDs). The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of: (i) drug load: 3–22.7% w/w, (ii) lipid type: medium-chain triglyceride (Captex 300) and mono and diester of caprylic acid (Capmul PG8), and (iii) silica nanostructure: spray dried fumed silica (FS) and mesoporous silica (MPS), on the in vitro dissolution, solubilization, and solid-state stability of the model drug fenofibrate (FEN). Greater FEN crystallinity was detected at higher drug loads and within the MPS formulations. Furthermore, an increased rate and extent of dissolution was achieved by FS formulations when compared to crystalline FEN (5–10-fold), a commercial product; APO-fenofibrate (2.4–4-fold) and corresponding MPS formulations (2–4-fold). Precipitation of FEN during in vitro lipolysis restricted data interpretation, however a synergistic effect between MPS and Captex 300 in enhancing FEN aqueous solubilization was attained. It was concluded that a balance between in vitro performance and drug loading is key, and the optimum drug load was determined to be between 7–16% w/w, which corresponds to (200–400% equilibrium solubility in lipid Seq). This study provides valuable insight into the impact of key characteristics of SLHs, in constructing optimized solid-state lipid-based formulations for the oral delivery of PWSDs.