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      Proniosomal gel-mediated topical delivery of fluconazole: Development, in vitro characterization, and microbiological evaluation


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          The aim of this study was to explore the potential of proniosomal gel for topical delivery of fluconazole, an antifungal drug used in fungal infections caused by pathogenic fungi. Fluconazole-loaded proniosomal gels were prepared by the coacervation phase separation method using different nonionic surfactants (spans and tweens). The prepared fluconazole proniosomal gels were evaluated for various parameters such as particle size (PS), drug entrapment efficiency percentage (EE%), and in vitro drug release. The experimental results showed that the EE% for the prepared formulae are acceptable (85.14%–97.66%) and they are nanosized (19.8–50.1 nm) and the diffusion from the gels gave the desired sustaining effect. F4, which was prepared from span 60, tween 80 (1:1), and cholesterol showed highest EE% and gave slow release (40.50% ± 1.50% after 6 h), was subjected to zeta potential (ZP) test, transmission electron microscopy as well as microbiological study. The results showed a well-defined spherical vesicle with sharp boundaries with good physical stability of fluconazole within the prepared gel. Moreover, F4 showed an excellent microbiological activity represented by a greater zone of inhibition (5.3 cm) compared to control gel (fluconazole in 2% hydroxy propyl methyl cellulose (HPMC) gel formula) (4.2 cm) and plain gel with no drug (0 cm) against Candida albicans. This study showed the suitability of the proniosomal gel in attaining the desired sustainment effect for topical delivery of fluconazole for the management of fungal infection. The physical stability study showed that there was no significant change in EE%, PS, and ZP of fluconazole proniosomal gel after storage for 6 months.

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          Preparation and evaluation of reverse-phase evaporation and multilamellar niosomes as ophthalmic carriers of acetazolamide.

          Niosomes have been reported as a possible approach to improve the low corneal penetration and bioavailability characteristics shown by conventional ophthalmic vehicles. Niosomes formed from Span 40 or Span 60 and cholesterol in the molar ratios of 7:4, 7:6 and 7:7 were prepared using reverse-phase evaporation and thin film hydration methods. The prepared systems were characterized for entrapment efficiency, size, shape and in vitro drug release. Stability studies were carried out to investigate the leaching of drug from niosomes during storage. The intraocular pressure (IOP) lowering activity of acetazolamide niosomal formulations in rabbits was measured using ShiØtz tonometer. Histological examination for the corneal tissues of rabbits receiving niosomal formulations was carried out for assessment of the ocular irritancy of niosomes. The results showed that the type of surfactant, cholesterol content and the method of preparation altered the entrapment efficiency and drug release rate from niosomes. Higher entrapment efficiency was obtained with multilamellar niosomes prepared from Span 60 and cholesterol in a 7:6 molar ratio. Niosomal formulations have shown a fairly high retention of acetazolamide inside the vesicles (approximately 75%) at a refrigerated temperature up to a period of 3 months. Each of the tested acetazolamide niosomes prepared by either method produced a significant decrease in IOP compared to the solution of free drug and plain niosomes. Multilamellar acetazolamide niosomes formulated with Span 60 and cholesterol in a 7:4 molar ratio were found to be the most effective and showed prolonged decrease in IOP. Histological examination of corneal tissues after instillation of niosomal formulation for 40 days showed slight irritation in the substantia propria of the eye which is reversible and no major changes in tissues were observed.
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            Effect of some formulation parameters on flurbiprofen encapsulation and release rates of niosomes prepared from proniosomes.

            Proniosomal gels or solutions of flurbiprofen were developed based on span 20 (Sp 20), span 40 (Sp 40), span 60 (Sp 60), and span 80 (Sp 80) without and with cholesterol. Nonionic surfactant vesicles (niosomes) formed immediately upon hydrating proniosomal formulae. The entrapment efficiency (EE%) of flurbiprofen (a poorly soluble drug) was either determined by exhaustive dialysis of freshly prepared niosomes or centrifugation of freeze-thawed vesicles. The influence of different processing and formulation variables such as surfactant chain length, cholesterol content, drug concentration, total lipid concentration, negatively or positively charging lipids, and the pH of the dispersion medium on flurbiprofen EE% was demonstrated. Also, the release of the prepared niosomes in phosphate buffer (pH 7.4) was illustrated. Results indicated that the EE% followed the trend Sp 60 (C(18))>Sp 40 (C(16))>Sp 20 (C(12))>Sp 80 (C(18)). Cholesterol increased or decreased the EE% depending on either the type of the surfactant or its concentration within the formulae. The maximum loading efficiency was 94.61% when the hydrating medium was adjusted to pH 5.5. Increasing total lipid or drug concentration also increased the EE% of flurbiprofen into niosomes. However, incorporation of either dicetyl phosphate (DCP) which induces negative charge or stearyl amine (SA) which induces positive charge decreased the EE% of flurbiprofen into niosomal vesicles. Finally, in vitro release data for niosomes of Sp 40 and Sp 60 showed that the release profiles of flurbiprofen from niosomes of different cholesterol contents is an apparently biphasic release process. As a result, this study suggested the potential of proniosomes as stable precursors for the immediate preparation of niosomal carrier systems.
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              Studies on a high encapsulation of colchicine by a niosome system.

              To prepare niosomes which have high encapsulation capacity for soluble drugs, starting from Span 60 and cholesterol, an improved method, evaporation-sonication method, was proposed. The corresponding niosomes show a good stability at least 40 days. Colchicine was chosen as a model drug for examining the capsulation capacity of these niosomes. To obtain the highest encapsulation efficiency, several factors including the structure of surfactant, level of lipid, content of drug and cholesterol were investigated and optimized. The inner cause was also discussed. The results indicate that the Span 60 is the most ideal surfactant among four kinds of Span. Furthermore, the release studies of colchicine and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in vitro from niosomes exhibited a prolonged release profile as studied over a period of 24 h. The results demonstrated that niosomes prepared in this way not only have high encapsulation capacity but also is expected that side effects of drugs may be reduced. It still suggests that this method may be used extensively in the field of encapsulation soluble drugs.

                Author and article information

                J Adv Pharm Technol Res
                J Adv Pharm Technol Res
                Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                Jan-Mar 2019
                : 10
                : 1
                : 20-26
                [1 ]Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy (Girls), Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
                [2 ]Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, October University for Modern Sciences and Arts, Cairo, Egypt
                [3 ]Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy (Boys), Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Dr. Maha Khalifa Ahmed Khalifa, Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy (Girls), Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt. E-mail: mahakhalifa.ahmed@ 123456hotmail.com ; mahakhalifa.pharmg@ 123456azhar.edu.eg
                Copyright: © 2019 Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research

                This is an open access journal, and articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as appropriate credit is given and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

                Original Article

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine
                antifungal drugs,fluconazole,proniosomal gel,provesicular drug delivery system


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