Exploring the Nano Spray-Drying Technology as an Innovative Manufacturing Method for Solid Lipid Nanoparticle Dry Powders
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To take advantage of solid-state properties, the nano spray-drying (NSD) technique was investigated as an innovative one-step method to produce solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) in the form of a dry powder starting from a lipid/leucine O/W emulsion. Compritol was chosen as wall-forming lipid. Rapamycin (Rp) was employed as a model drug to be loaded into SLN. Based on an initial screening, Lutrol F68 was chosen as surfactant and high-shear homogenization as an emulsification method. A two-level fractional factorial design and an extended factorial design were employed to determine critical factors and best preparation conditions. Compritol concentration, l-leucine/lipid ratio, and Lutrol F68 concentration resulted critical. Best conditions granted 51% yield, 3.2 μm l-leucine/SLN particle size, and a SLN population around 150 nm. All samples showed the presence of lipid aggregates. Material loss in the emulsification step was found responsible for SLN aggregation and low yield. The almost quantitative Rp loading increased SLN population span. Replacing compritol with cetyl palmitate produced aggregation of dry powders and SLN. Overall, NSD was found a fast method to produce SLN dry powders. More insightful assessment of the emulsification step and lipid property effects will be critical to the optimization of the NSD process. Hypotheses account for direct coupling of high-pressure homogenization with NSD for future successful development of this promising manufacturing method.
KEY WORDSNano spray-drying Solid lipid nanoparticles SLN-leucine particles Dry powder
This work was partially performed at the University of Perugia Interdepartmental Laboratories of Nanomaterials (L.U.NA.).
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