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Open Access Research

Scale up, optimization and stability analysis of Curcumin C3 complex-loaded nanoparticles for cancer therapy

Amalendu P Ranjan1, Anindita Mukerjee1, Lawrence Helson2 and Jamboor K Vishwanatha1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Molecular Biology & Immunology and Institute for Cancer Research, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX, 76107, USA

2 SignPath Pharmaceuticals Inc., Quakertown, PA, USA

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Journal of Nanobiotechnology 2012, 10:38  doi:10.1186/1477-3155-10-38

Published: 31 August 2012

Abstract

Background

Nanoparticle based delivery of anticancer drugs have been widely investigated. However, a very important process for Research & Development in any pharmaceutical industry is scaling nanoparticle formulation techniques so as to produce large batches for preclinical and clinical trials. This process is not only critical but also difficult as it involves various formulation parameters to be modulated all in the same process.

Methods

In our present study, we formulated curcumin loaded poly (lactic acid-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles (PLGA-CURC). This improved the bioavailability of curcumin, a potent natural anticancer drug, making it suitable for cancer therapy. Post formulation, we optimized our process by Reponse Surface Methodology (RSM) using Central Composite Design (CCD) and scaled up the formulation process in four stages with final scale-up process yielding 5 g of curcumin loaded nanoparticles within the laboratory setup. The nanoparticles formed after scale-up process were characterized for particle size, drug loading and encapsulation efficiency, surface morphology, in vitro release kinetics and pharmacokinetics. Stability analysis and gamma sterilization were also carried out.

Results

Results revealed that that process scale-up is being mastered for elaboration to 5 g level. The mean nanoparticle size of the scaled up batch was found to be 158.5 ± 9.8 nm and the drug loading was determined to be 10.32 ± 1.4%. The in vitro release study illustrated a slow sustained release corresponding to 75% drug over a period of 10 days. The pharmacokinetic profile of PLGA-CURC in rats following i.v. administration showed two compartmental model with the area under the curve (AUC0-∞) being 6.139 mg/L h. Gamma sterilization showed no significant change in the particle size or drug loading of the nanoparticles. Stability analysis revealed long term physiochemical stability of the PLGA-CURC formulation.

Conclusions

A successful effort towards formulating, optimizing and scaling up PLGA-CURC by using Solid-Oil/Water emulsion technique was demonstrated. The process used CCD-RSM for optimization and further scaled up to produce 5 g of PLGA-CURC with almost similar physicochemical characteristics as that of the primary formulated batch.

Keywords:
Scale up; Optimization; PLGA nanoparticles; Cancer; Response surface methodology (RSM); Curcumin C3 complex; Central composite design (CCD)