Microencapsulated Solid Lipid Nanoparticles as a Hybrid Platform for Pulmonary Antibiotic Delivery
Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) containing rifabutin (RFB), with pulmonary administration purposes, were developed through a technique that avoids the use of organic solvents or sonication. To facilitate their pulmonary delivery, the RFB-loaded SLN were included in microspheres of appropriate size using suitable excipients (mannitol and trehalose) through a spray-drying technique. Confocal analysis microscopy showed that microspheres are spherical and that SLN are efficiently microencapsulated and homogeneously distributed throughout the microsphere matrices. The aerodynamic diameters observed an optimal distribution for reaching the alveolar region. The dry powder’s performance during aerosolization and the in vitro drug deposition were tested using a twin-impinger approach, which confirmed that the microspheres can reach the deep lung. Isothermal titration calorimetry revealed that SLN have higher affinity for mannitol than for trehalose. Upon microsphere dissolution in aqueous media, SLN were readily recovered, maintaining their physicochemical properties. When these dry powders reach the deep lung, microspheres are expected to readily dissolve, delivering the SLN which, in turn, will release RFB. The in vivo biodistribution of microencapsulated RFB-SLN demonstrated that the antibiotic achieved the tested organs 15 and 30 min post pulmonary administration. Their antimycobacterial activity was also evaluated in a murine model of infection with a Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain H37Rv resulting in an enhancement of activity against M. tuberculosis infection compared to nontreated animals. These results suggest that RFB-SLN microencapsulation is a promising approach for the treatment of tuberculosis.