Halloysite nanotube-embedded microparticles for intestine-targeted co-delivery of biopharmaceuticals.


Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1H9, Canada. Electronic address: [Email]


Microparticles (MPs) with pH-responding macropores have recently proved their significance for the delivery of vulnerable biomolecules for oral drug administration. The previous MP systems were proven to provide enhanced protection against the gastric environment, however, their application is hindered due to insufficient loading efficiencies and deficient penetration capabilities of encapsulated drugs across the mucus barrier. Here, we report a new co-delivery approach based on amine-functionalized halloysite nanotube (HNT)-embedded MPs (amine-HNT-MPs) with pH-responding macropores specifically designed to deal with the mucus barrier at the absorption site. The mean diameter and polydispersity index of the pored MPs were measured by a particle size analyzer to be 37.6 ± 1.3 µm and 1.15, respectively. The drug loading capacity of the co-delivery system was shown to be 50-times higher than previously reported pored MPs. Fluorescence microscopy analysis of sulforhodamine B (into a hollow interior of HNTs)/ fluorescent nanoparticles (into a hollow interior of MPs)-encapsulated MPs confirmed biphasic release behavior due to pH-dependent pore closing/opening in the simulated gastrointestinal (GI) digestive conditions. To verify the protective effect of the co-delivery system, bromelain and lactase were loaded into HNTs and MPs, respectively, and found to exhibit 94.5 ± 3.3% (bromelain) and 70 ± 14.1% (lactase) functional activity in simulated GI tract conditions. The considerable improvement in the stability of the encapsulated enzymes against gastric conditions are attributed to the efficient pore sealing of the co-delivery system after the encapsulation of enzymes and maintenance of these closed pores in the gastric environment. Furthermore, the mucolytic enzyme (i.e. bromelain)-encapsulated co-delivery system was found to enhance mucopenetration of the encapsulated drug from histological analysis using ex vivo porcine intestine tissue. Therefore, the new microencapsulation design proposed in this study provides a promising solution to the major issues hampering the wide-spread application of MPs in the development of oral drug formulations for biopharmaceuticals and vaccines.


Co-delivery,Macropore,Microparticle,Mucus,Oral drug delivery,

OUR Recent Articles