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Development of a Nasal Donepezil-loaded Microemulsion for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease: in vitro and ex vivo Characterization

[ Vol. 17 , Issue. 1 ]

Author(s):

Lupe C. Espinoza, Marisol Vacacela, Beatriz Clares*, Maria Luisa Garcia, Maria-Jose Fabrega and Ana C. Calpena   Pages 43 - 53 ( 11 )

Abstract:


Background: Donepezil (DPZ) is widely prescribed as a specific and reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitor for the symptomatic treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Objective: Considering the therapeutic potential of DPZ and the advantages offered by the intranasal route as an alternative for drug administration, the aim of this study was the development and characterization of a DPZ microemulsion (ME) for nose-to-brain delivery.

Method: The ME was developed by construction of pseudoternary phase diagrams and characterized by dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy. Flow properties and viscosity, as well as optical stability and stability under storage at different temperatures were evaluated. Finally, in vitro release and ex vivo permeation studies through porcine nasal mucosa were accomplished.

Results: A transparent and homogeneous DPZ-ME (12.5 mg/ml) was obtained. The pH and viscosity were 6.38 and 44.69 mPa·s, respectively, indicating nasal irritation prevention and low viscosity. The mean droplet size was 58.9±3.2 nm with a polydispersity index of 0.19±0.04. The morphological analysis revealed the spherical shape of droplets, as well as their smooth and regular surface. Optical stability evidenced no destabilization processes. DPZ release profile indicated that the ME followed a hyperbolic kinetic model while the ex vivo permeation profile showed that the highest permeation occurred during initial 4 h and the maximum permeated amount was approximately 2000 µg, which corresponds to 80% of the starting amount of drug.

Conclusion: We conclude that our nasal ME could be considered as a new potential tool for further investigation in the AD.

Keywords:

Donepezil, Alzheimer's disease, intranasal route, microemulsion, permeation, delivery systems.

Affiliation:

Department of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Technology and Physical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Department of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Technology and Physical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Granada, Granada, Department of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Technology and Physical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Biochemistry and Physiology Department, Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Department of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Technology and Physical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona

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