Drug Delivery and Translational Research

, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp 489–497 | Cite as

Development and evaluation of anti-malarial bio-conjugates: artesunate-loaded nanoerythrosomes

  • Jaya AgnihotriEmail author
  • Shubhini Saraf
  • Sobhna Singh
  • Papiya Bigoniya
Original Article


Biodegradable cellular carrier has desired properties for achieving effective long-term controlled release of drugs having short half life. To reduce the undesired effects of drug, advanced drug delivery systems are needed which are based on specific cell targeting module. Artesunate (ART) conjugation on nanoerythrosomes (NE) can have controlled delivery to avoid drug leakage, increase the stability, and reduce cost and toxicities. In this study nanosized lipoprotein membrane vesicles bearing ART were prepared by extrusion method. Developed ART-NE conjugate formulations were optimized on the basis of vesicle morphology, size and size distribution, polydispersity index, integrity of membrane, loaded drug concentration, drug leakage, effect of temperature and viscosity, syringeability, in vitro release profile and in vivo plasma concentration estimation studies. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy reveals that lipid chain order of RBCs are insignificantly affected in moderate conditions after ART loading. The formulated ART-NE carrier revealed non aggregated, uniformly sized particles with smooth surfaces. The maximum drug loading was found to be 25.20 ± 1.3 μg/ml. ART-NE formulation was best fit for zero order kinetics and was found to be capable of controlled release of drug for 8 hrs. ART-NE formulation showed good redispersibility with desirable properties for parenteral administration. Formulation was stable when subjected to stress by centrifugal force of 7500 rpm and could bear turbulence shock of 15 passes from hypodermic needle of size 23 gauges. The ART-NE formulation administered intravenously showed higher plasma concentration compared to free drug signifying not only controlled release but higher rate of in vivo release. The developed formulation exhibited zero order release profile as per kinetic study analysis suggesting the suitability of carrier for the sustained and targeted delivery of ART. The developed ART-NE drug delivery system offers improved pharmacokinetic profile with assurance of increased therapeutic efficacy.


Anti-malarial Artesunate Cellular carrier Erythrocytes Nanoerythrocytes Targeting 



The authors are thankful to Prof. Vandana B Patrawala, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology, Institute of Chemical Technology, and lab staff for their invaluable help in handling and operating of the instruments in their laboratory for this research work.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Controlled Release Society 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaya Agnihotri
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shubhini Saraf
    • 2
  • Sobhna Singh
    • 3
  • Papiya Bigoniya
    • 4
  1. 1.H. K College of PharmacyMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.School of Biosciences & BiotechnologyBabasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar UniversityLucknowIndia
  3. 3.School of Pharmaceutical SciencesMJP Rohilkhand UniversityBareillyIndia
  4. 4.Radharaman College of PharmacyBhopalIndia

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