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Papers of the Week

Papers: 13 May 2023 - 19 May 2023

Basic Science, Methodology

Animal Studies, In Vitro Studies, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2023 May 10

Int J Pharm


Metformin and curcumin co-encapsulated chitosan/alginate nanoparticles as effective oral carriers against pain-like behaviors in mice.


Wadu Dasuni Wasana P, Hasriadi , Vajragupta O, Rojsitthisak P, Towiwat P, Rojsitthisak P


Nanotechnology plays an integral role in multimodal analgesia. In this study, we co-encapsulated metformin (Met) and curcumin (Cur) into chitosan/alginate (CTS/ALG) nanoparticles (NPs) at their synergistic drug ratio by applying response surface methodology. The optimized Met-Cur-CTS/ALG-NPs were achieved with Pluronic® F-127 2.33% (w/v), Met 5.91 mg, and CTS:ALG mass ratio 0.05:1. The prepared Met-Cur-CTS/ALG-NPs had 243 nm particle size, -21.6 mV zeta potential, 32.6 and 44.2% Met and Cur encapsulations, 19.6 and 6.8% Met and Cur loading, respectively, and 2.9:1 Met:Cur mass ratio. Met-Cur-CTS/ALG-NPs displayed stability under simulated gastrointestinal (GI) fluid conditions and during storage. In vitro release study of Met-Cur-CTS/ALG-NPs in simulated GI fluids showed sustained release, with Met exhibiting Fickian diffusion and Cur demonstrating non-Fickian diffusion following the Korsmeyer-Peppas model. Met-Cur-CTS/ALG-NPs exhibited increased mucoadhesion and improved cellular uptake in Caco-2 cells. Additionally, Met-Cur-CTS/ALG-NPs exhibited better anti-inflammatory effects in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophage and BV-2 microglial cells than the equivalent amount of the Met-Cur physical mixture, indicating a greater ability to modulate peripheral and central immune mechanisms of pain. In the mouse formalin-induced pain model, Met-Cur-CTS/ALG-NPs administered orally exhibited better attenuation of pain-like behaviors and proinflammatory cytokine release compared to the Met-Cur physical mixture. Furthermore, Met-Cur-CTS/ALG-NPs did not induce significant side effects in mice at therapeutic doses. Altogether, the present study establishes a CTS/ALG nano-delivery system for Met-Cur combination against pain with improved efficacy and safety.