Purpose: The objective of this study was to optimize the Flurbiprofen (FB) nanosuspension (NS) based gel and to investigate the in vitro release, ex vivo permeation, the plasma concentration-time profile and pharmacokinetic parameters.
Methods: FB-NSs were developed using the wet milling process with the Design of Experiment (DoE) approach. The optimum FB-NS was characterized on the basis of SEM, DSC, XRPD, solubility and permeation studies. The dermal gel was prepared by incorporating FB-NS into HPMC gel. Then the in-vitro release, ex vivo permeation studies were performed, and pharmacokinetic studies were evaluated on rats.
Results: The particle size, polydispersity index and zeta potential values of optimum NS were determined as 237.7 ± 6.8 nm, 0.133 ± 0.030 and - 30.4 ± 0.7 mV, respectively. By means of the surfactant content and nanosized particles of the nanosuspension, the solubility of FB was increased about 7-fold. The percentage permeated amount of FB from FB-NS gel (8.40%) was also found to be higher than the physical mixture (5.25%) and coarse suspension (reference) (2.08%) gels. The pharmacokinetic studies showed that the Cmax of FB-NS gel was 2.5 times higher than the reference gel, while AUC0-24 was 2.96 times higher.
Conclusion: FB-NSs were successfully prepared with a wet milling method and optimized with the DoE approach. The optimized FB nanosuspension gel provided better permeation and pharmacokinetic performance compared to FB coarse suspension gel.
Keywords: ex vivo; flurbiprofen; nanosuspension; pharmacokinetic; wet-milling.