This study focused on the investigation of the permeation enhancing effects of a stomach targeted, nanoparticulate drug delivery system. The polyacrylic acid-cysteine/polyvinylpyrrolidon nanoparticles were loaded with the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid gadolinium(III)dihydrogen salt (Gd-DTPA). Average particle size was determined to be 130 nm and the optimum for stability was found to be below a pH of 4.5. In vitro permeation studies were performed on rat gastric mucosa and revealed an eightfold increase in Gd-DTPA uptake when incorporated in the nanoparticles compared to evaluation in the presence of unformulated polyacrylic acid-cysteine. In vivo investigations with rats were performed via the noninvasive MRI method in order to track the nanoparticles way through the gastrointestinal tract. When Gd-DTPA was administered orally as nanoparticulate suspension, an increased MRI signal in the urinary bladder was detected after 34 min, providing evidence for systemic uptake and renal elimination of the contrast agent. As control experiments with Gd-DTPA only or in combination with unformulated polyacrylic acid-cysteine revealed no MRI signal increase at all, the significant permeation enhancing effect could be identified based on the nanoparticulate formulation.
2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association