Sustainable preparation of anti-inflammatory atorvastatin PLGA nanoparticles
in: International Journal of Pharmaceutics (2021)
n the present study, the anti-inflammatory lipophilic drug atorvastatin was encapsulated in poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) using a sustainable method in comparison to the standard emulsion-diffusion-evaporation technique. For the sustainable method the organic solvent ethyl acetate was fully replaced by 400 g/mol poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG 400). Both techniques led to the formation of nanoparticles with comparable sizes of about 170 to 247 nm depending on the polymer type, with monomodal size distribution and negative zeta potential. All nanoparticles demonstrated a high biocompatibility in a shell-less hen’s egg model and displayed an anti-inflammatory effect in human monocytes. The use of PEG 400 resulted in plasticizing effects and a lower crystallinity of the PLGA nanoparticles as determined by differential scanning calorimetry and Raman spectroscopy, which correlated with a faster drug release. Interestingly, the particles prepared by the sustainable method showed a crystallinity and drug release kinetics similar to nanoparticles made of PEG-PLGA using the standard method. Conclusively, the sustainable method is a fast and easy to perform technique suitable to prepare atorvastatin PLGA nanoparticles avoiding toxic and environmentally damaging drawbacks associated with classical organic solvents.