Protein free microcapsules obtained from plant spores as a model for drug delivery: ibuprofen encapsulation, release and taste masking
Sporopollenin exine capsules (SEC) extracted from Lycopodium clavatum spores were shown to encapsulate ibuprofen as a drug model, with 97 ± 1% efficiency as measured by recovery of the loaded drug and absence of the drug on the SEC surface by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The encapsulated ibuprofen was shown to be unchanged from its bulk crystalline form by solid state NMR, FTIR and XRD. Essential for drug delivery applications, SEC were shown to be non-toxic to human endothelial cells and free of allergenic protein epitopes by MALDI-TOF-MS and ESI-QqToF-MS. Potential application for targeted release into the intestinal region of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) was demonstrated by 88 ± 1% of the drug being retained in simulated gastric fluid (SGF) after 45 minutes and 85 ± 2% being released after 5 min in buffer (PBS; pH 7.4). The SEC were shown to provide significant taste masking of encapsulated ibuprofen in a double blind trial with 10 human volunteers.