Institute of Functional Interfaces

Nanoporous smartPearls for dermal application – Identification of optimal silica types and a scalable production process as prerequisites for marketed products

  • chair:

    Hespeler, D. /  El Nomeiri, S. / Kaltenbach, J. /  Müller R.H. (2019)

  • place:

    Beilstein J Nanotechnol., 2019, 10, 1666-1678, doi: 10.3762/bjnano.10.162

  • Date: August 2019
  • Abstract

    smartPearls are a dermal delivery system for poorly soluble active agents, consisting of nanoporous silica particles loaded with a long-term stable, amorphous active agent in its mesopores (2-50 nm). The amorphous state of the active agent is known to increase dermal bioavailability. For use in marketed products, optimal silica types were identified from commercially available, regulatory accepted silica. In addition, a scalable production process was demonstrated. The loading of the particles was performed by applying the immersion-evaporation method. The antioxidant rutin was used as a model active agent and ethanol was applied as the solvent. Various silica particles (Syloid®, Davisil®) differing in particle size (7-50 µm), pore diameter (3-25 nm) and pore volume (0.4-1.75 mL/g) were investigated regarding their ease of processing. The evaporation from the silica-ethanol suspensions was performed in a rotary evaporator. The finest powders were obtained with larger-sized silica. The maximum loading staying amorphous was achieved between 10% and 25% (w/w), depending on the silica type. A loading mechanism was also proposed. The most suitable processing occurred with the large-sized Syloid® XDP 3050 silica with a 50 µm particle size and a pore diameter of 25 nm, resulting in 18% (w/w) maximum loading. Based on a 10% (w/w) loading and the amorphous solubility of the active agent, for a 100 kg dermal formulation, about 500 g of loaded particles were required. This corresponds to production of 5 kg of loaded smartPearls for a formulation batch size of a ton. The production of 5 kg (i.e., about 25 L of solvent removal) can be industrially realized in a commercial 50 L rotary evaporator.