Nanocomposite microparticles (nCmP) for the delivery of tacrolimus in the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension

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Tacrolimus (TAC) has exhibited promising therapeutic potential in the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH); however, its application is prevented by its poor solubility, instability, poor bioavailability, and negative systemic side effects. To overcome the obstacles of using TAC for the treatment of PAH, we developed nanocomposite microparticles (nCmP) for the pulmonary delivery of tacrolimus in the form of dry powder aerosols. These particles can provide targeted pulmonary delivery, improved solubility of tacrolimus, the potential of penetration through mucus barrier, and controlled drug release. In this system, tacrolimus-loaded polymeric nanoparticles (NP) were prepared via emulsion solvent evaporation and nCmP were prepared by spray drying these NP with mannitol. The NP were approximately 200 nm in diameter with narrow size distribution both before loading into and after redispersion from nCmP. The NP exhibited smooth, spherical morphology and the nCmP were raisin-like spheres. High encapsulation efficacy was achieved both in the encapsulation of tacrolimus in NP and that of NP in nCmP. nCmP exhibited desirable aerosol dispersion properties, allowing them to deposit into the deep lung regions for effective drug delivery. A549 cells were used as in vitro models to demonstrate the non-cytotoxicity of TAC nCmP. Overall, the designed nCmP have the potential to aid in the delivery of tacrolimus for the treatment of PAH.

Publication Title

International Journal of Pharmaceutics