Title : Clays can help cure cancer: A dense gas approach for drug encapsulation in a nanoclay
Halloysite nanoclays (HNT) are naturally occurring aluminosilicates belonging to the kaolin group. They have a high length-to-diameter ratio and a cylindrical morphology with a lumen at the center. Their biocompatibility, high surface area and adsorption capacity make them a suitable carrier for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Dense gas processing is a collection of advanced green techniques suitable for producing pharmaceutical formulations. In this work, Gas Antisolvent (GAS) process is employed to load 5-Fluorouracil (5FU), a first-line drug for colorectal cancer treatment, onto HNT. The advantages of both the nanocarrier and the encapsulation method have been combined and presented in this study. The HNT-5FU suspension is injected into CO2 (120 bar and 25°C) inside a Jerguson pressure chamber and loaded as shown in Figure 1. The drug loading and the encapsulation efficiency of the process were determined for different HNT:5FU ratios (1, 1.5, 3 and 6). Scanning Electron Microscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy, and Fourier Transforms Infra-red spectroscopy were performed to characterize the product. A high loading of 38% was achieved at HNT:5FU=1:1, which is much higher than the conventional loading technique. The encapsulation efficiency of the process was 40% for all the HNT:5FU ratios. The effectiveness of the GAS process in encapsulating 5FU in HNT is superior to conventional methods of loading (e.g., mechanical), opening new routes for the production of micro/nano drug delivery systems.
Audience take away:
Learn about green processing alternatives for drug encapsulation.
Use of novel biomaterials for cancer treatment.
Dense gas processing employs less organic solvents and processing time.
The work presented can be scaled up to industrially viable levels.