The present investigation involved preparation of hydrogel nanoparticles using a combination of hydroxyl propyl methyl cellulose and polyvinyl pyrrolidone. The objective was to exploit the size and hydrophilic nature of the formulated nanocarriers to enhance absorption and prolong the rapid clearance of curcumin due to possible evasion of the reticulo-endothelial system. Reproducible nanoparticles of size around 100 nm, a fairly narrow distribution and encapsulation efficiency of 72%, were produced by the solvent emulsion-evaporation technique. This optimized system was further subjected to freeze-drying. The freeze-dried product was readily reconstituted with distilled water. The reconstituted product exhibited a size and distribution similar to that before freeze-drying, drug content of greater than 99% and presence of amorphous drug when analyzed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) which may result in possible improved absorption of curcumin. In vivo anti-malarial studies revealed significant superior action of nanoparticles over curcumin control suggesting the possibility of the formulation being employed as an adjunct anti-malarial therapy along with the standard therapy. Acute and subacute toxicity studies confirmed the oral safety of the formulation. A battery of genotoxicity studies was conducted to evaluate the nongenotoxic potential of the developed formulation thus indicating the possibility of the formulation being employed for prolonged duration.
© 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association