Like most protein macromolecular drugs, the half-life of rhIFNɑ-2b is short, with a low drug utilization rate, and the preparation and release conditions significantly affect its stability.
A nanoporous ion-responsive targeted drug delivery system (PIRTDDS) was designed to improve drug availability of rhIFNα-2b and target it to the lung passively with sustained release. Chitosan rhIFNα-2b carboxymethyl nanoporous microspheres (CS-rhIFNα-2b-CCPM) were prepared by the column method. Here, an electrostatic self-assembly technique was undertaken to improve and sustain rhIFNα-2b release rate.
The size distribution of the microspheres was 5~15 μm, and the microspheres contained nanopores 300~400 nm in diameter. The in vitro release results showed that rhIFNα-2b and CCPM were mainly bound by ionic bonds. After self-assembling, the release mechanism was transformed into being membrane diffusion. The accumulative release amount for 24 hrs was 83.89%. Results from circular dichrogram and SDS-PAGE electrophoresis showed that there was no significant change in the secondary structure and purity of rhIFNα-2b. Results from inhibition rate experiments for A549 cell proliferation showed that the antitumor activity of CS-rhIFNα-2b-CCPM for 24 hrs retained 91.98% of the stock solution, which proved that the drug-loaded nanoporous microspheres maintained good drug activity. In vivo pharmacokinetic experimental results showed that the drugs in CS-rhIFNα-2b-CCPM can still be detected in vivo after 24 hrs, equivalent to the stock solution at 6 hrs, which indicated that CS-rhIFNα-2b-CCPM had a certain sustained-release effect in vivo. The results of in vivo tissue distribution showed that CS-rhIFNα-2b-CCPM was mainly concentrated in the lungs of mice (1.85 times the stock solution). The pharmacodynamics results showed that CS-rhIFNα-2b-CCPM had an obvious antitumor effect, and the tumor inhibition efficiency was 29.2%.