Physicochemical stimuli as tuning parameters to modulate the structure and stability of nanostructured lipid carriers and release kinetics of encapsulated antileprosy drugs†
To unveil the effect of electrolyte concentration, pH and polymer addition on Tween 80 stabilized nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs, based on dialkyldimethylammonium bromides DxDAB and Na oleate), an in-depth scattering analysis was performed. Dynamic and static light scattering (DLS/SLS) and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) techniques along with zeta potential studies were exploited to understand the structural evolution and physical stability of NLCs. In these experiments, we varied the salt concentration, pH, and the admixture of Pluronic F127 in order to elucidate their effect on NLC morphologies. In most cases, two populations of different sizes are present which differ by one order of magnitude. The antileprosy drugs (ALD) Rifampicin and Dapsone were encapsulated in NLCs and the vector properties were assessed for a series of DxDAB (where x = 12, 14, 16 and 18) NLCs. The influence of composition on the entrapment and release behavior of NLCs was investigated: The size of NLCs correlates with the release rate of the incorporated drug. The interaction of drug-loaded NLCs with bovine serum albumin was studied to understand the release of ALD in the plasma.