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International journal of pharmaceutics

Artemisinin nanoformulation suitable for intravenous injection: Preparation, characterization and antimalarial activities.


PMID 26383839

Abstract

More than 40 years after its discovery, artemisinin has become the most promising antimalarial agent. However, no intravenous formulation is available due to its poor aqueous solubility. Here, we report the preparation, characterization, and in vitro and in vivo biological evaluation of biodegradable albumin-bound artemisinin nanoparticles. The nanoparticles were prepared by a combination of a bottom-up and a top-down processes and characterized by different spectroscopic techniques. The preparation process was optimized to develop a nanoformulation with the smallest possible diameter and good homogeneity suitable for intravenous injection enabling direct contact of artemisinin with infected erythrocytes. Chemically and physically stable artemisinin nanoparticles were obtained with excellent entrapment efficiency. In in vitro experiments, the artemisinin nanoformulation was interestingly more effective than non-formulated artemisinin. In Plasmodiumm falciparum-infected 'humanized' mice, the nanoparticles proved to be highly effective with 96% parasitemia inhibition at 10mg/kg/day, prolonging mean survival time without recrudescence. This nanoparticulate albumin-bound system allows the intravenous administration of artemisinin for the first time without harsh organic solvents or cosolvents with 100% bioavailability.

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