Preparation and evaluation of multiple-unit solid oral dosage forms containing chemical permeation enhancing agents
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The most popular and convenient route of drug administration remains the oral route, however, protein and peptide drugs such as insulin have poor membrane permeability and stability in the gastrointestinal tract. Absorption enhancers can be added to drug delivery systems to overcome the epithelial cell membrane permeability problem. Although previous studies have shown that aloe leaf materials improve the transport of drugs across intestinal epithelia, their performance in solid oral dosage forms has not yet been investigated. Beads containing insulin and each of the selected absorption enhancers (i.e. Aloe ferox, Aloe marlothii and Aloe vera gel materials) were produced by extrusion-spheronisation, using a full factorial design to optimise the formulations based on transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) reduction of Caco-2 cell monolayers as response. The optimum bead formulations were evaluated in terms of friability, mass variation, particle surface texture, shape, size and dissolution. The transport of insulin across excised pig intestinal tissue from the optimised bead formulations was determined over a 2 h period. The samples obtained from the transport studies were analysed for insulin content by means of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The results showed that the TEER reduction, as an indication of tight junction modulation, obtained for the bead formulations containing aloe materials was concentration dependent. Furthermore, inclusion of croscarmellose sodium (Ac-di-sol®) as a disintegrant showed an enhanced TEER reduction effect in combination with the aloe gel materials. Dissolution profiles indicated that the beads containing aloe leaf materials in conjunction with insulin, released the insulin within an hour. In accordance with the TEER reduction results, the A. marlothii and A. vera materials containing beads showed similar increased insulin delivery across excised pig intestinal tissue, which was pronouncedly higher than that of the control group (insulin alone). It can be concluded that beads containing aloe leaf materials have high potential as effective delivery systems for protein therapeutics such as insulin via the oral route of administration.
- Health Sciences