Optimization of Lipid Nanoparticles by Response Surface Methodology to Improve the Ocular Delivery of Diosmin: Characterization and In-Vitro Anti-Inflammatory Assessment
Diosmin is a flavonoid with a great variety of biological activities including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ones. Its cytoprotective effect in retinal pigment epithelium cells under high glucose conditions makes it a potential support in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. Despite its benefits, poor solubility in water reduces its potential for therapeutic use, making it the biggest biopharmaceutical challenge. The design of diosmin-loaded nanocarriers for topical ophthalmic application represents a novelty that has not been yet explored.
For this purpose, the response surface methodology (RSM) was used to optimize nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs), compatible for ocular administration, to encapsulate diosmin and improve its physicochemical issues. NLCs were prepared by a simple and scalable technique: a melt emulsification method followed by ultrasonication. The experimental design was composed of four independent variables (solid lipid concentration, liquid lipid concentration, surfactant concentration and type of solid lipid). The effect of the factors was assessed on NLC size and PDI (responses) by analysis of variance (ANOVA).
The optimized formulation was selected according to the desirability function (0.993). Diosmin at two different concentrations (80 and 160 µM) was encapsulated into NLCs. Drug-loaded nanocarriers (D-NLCs) were subjected to a physicochemical and technological investigation revealing a mean particle size of 83.58 ± 0.77 nm and 82.21 ± 1.12 nm, respectively for the D-NLC formulation prepared with diosmin at the concentration of 80 µM or 160 µM, and a net negative surface charge (−18.5 ± 0.60 and −18.0 ± 1.18, respectively for the two batches).
The formulations were analyzed in terms of pH (6.5), viscosity, and adjusted for osmolarity, making them more compatible with the ocular environment. Subsequently, stability studies were carried out to assess D-NLC behavior under different storage conditions up to 60 days, indicating a good stability of NLC samples at room temperature. In-vitro studies on ARPE-19 cells confirmed the cytocompatibility of NLCs with retinal epithelium. The effect of D-NLCs was also evaluated in-vitro on a model of retinal inflammation, demonstrating the cytoprotective effect of D-NLCs at various concentrations. RSM was found to be a reliable model to optimize NLCs for diosmin encapsulation.
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Materials and Methods
For the preparation of lipid nanoparticles, Gelucire® 44/14 and Capryol® 90 were gifted by Gattefossé Italia s.r.l. (Milan, Italy). Softisan® 100 was gifted by IOI Oleo GmbH (Oleochemicals, Hamburg, Germany). Tween® 80 (Polysorbate 80) and solvents were purchased from Merck GmbH (Darmstadt, Germany). Micronized diosmin (90% purity) was used as the active ingredient (Farmaceutici Procemsa, Nichelino, Italy).
Zingale, E.; Rizzo, S.; Bonaccorso, A.; Consoli, V.; Vanella, L.; Musumeci, T.; Spadaro, A.; Pignatello, R. Optimization of Lipid Nanoparticles by Response Surface Methodology to Improve the Ocular Delivery of Diosmin: Characterization and In-Vitro Anti-Inflammatory Assessment. Pharmaceutics 2022, 14, 1961. https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics14091961