• Optimization and scale up of microfluidic nanolipomer production method for preclinical and potential clinical trials.

Optimization and scale up of microfluidic nanolipomer production method for preclinical and potential clinical trials.

Journal of nanobiotechnology (2018-02-13)
Andrew Gdowski, Kaitlyn Johnson, Sunil Shah, Ignacy Gryczynski, Jamboor Vishwanatha, Amalendu Ranjan

The process of optimization and fabrication of nanoparticle synthesis for preclinical studies can be challenging and time consuming. Traditional small scale laboratory synthesis techniques suffer from batch to batch variability. Additionally, the parameters used in the original formulation must be re-optimized due to differences in fabrication techniques for clinical production. Several low flow microfluidic synthesis processes have been reported in recent years for developing nanoparticles that are a hybrid between polymeric nanoparticles and liposomes. However, use of high flow microfluidic synthetic techniques has not been described for this type of nanoparticle system, which we will term as nanolipomer. In this manuscript, we describe the successful optimization and functional assessment of nanolipomers fabricated using a microfluidic synthesis method under high flow parameters. The optimal total flow rate for synthesis of these nanolipomers was found to be 12 ml/min and flow rate ratio 1:1 (organic phase: aqueous phase). The PLGA polymer concentration of 10 mg/ml and a DSPE-PEG lipid concentration of 10% w/v provided optimal size, PDI and stability. Drug loading and encapsulation of a representative hydrophobic small molecule drug, curcumin, was optimized and found that high encapsulation efficiency of 58.8% and drug loading of 4.4% was achieved at 7.5% w/w initial concentration of curcumin/PLGA polymer. The final size and polydispersity index of the optimized nanolipomer was 102.11 nm and 0.126, respectively. Functional assessment of uptake of the nanolipomers in C4-2B prostate cancer cells showed uptake at 1 h and increased uptake at 24 h. The nanolipomer was more effective in the cell viability assay compared to free drug. Finally, assessment of in vivo retention in mice of these nanolipomers revealed retention for up to 2 h and were completely cleared at 24 h. In this study, we have demonstrated that a nanolipomer formulation can be successfully synthesized and easily scaled up through a high flow microfluidic system with optimal characteristics. The process of developing nanolipomers using this methodology is significant as the same optimized parameters used for small batches could be translated into manufacturing large scale batches for clinical trials through parallel flow systems.