14 February 2018
Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid widely used in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine to treat illnesses such as hypertension and inflammatory conditions, and as an anticancer and hepato-protective agent. Berberine has low oral bioavailability due to poor aqueous solubility and insufficient dissolution rate, which can reduce the efficacy of drugs taken orally. In this study, evaporative precipitation of nanosuspension (EPN) and anti-solvent precipitation with a syringe pump (APSP) were used to address the problems of solubility, dissolution rate and bioavailability of berberine.
Semi-crystalline nanoparticles (NPs) of 90–110 nm diameter for APSP and 65–75 nm diameter for EPN were prepared and then characterized using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray powder diffractometry (XRD). Thereafter, drug content solubility and dissolution studies were undertaken. Berberine and its NPs were evaluated for their antibacterial activity.
The results indicate that the NPs have significantly increased solubility and dissolution rate due to conversion of the crystalline structure to a semi-crystalline form.