Nanocarriers for photodynamic therapy - rational formulation design and medium-scale manufacture
The development and manufacture of novel nanocarriers for drug delivery has proved challenging with regards to scale-up and pharmaceutical quality. Polymeric nanocarriers composed of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)-b-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLGA-PEG) were prepared and the photosensitizer meso-tetrakis(3-hydroxyphenyl) chlorin (mTHPC) was effectively encapsulated. Furthermore, the interplay of various process and formulation parameters and their impact on the most important product specifications were investigated by using a factorial design and a central composite design in a microfluidic manufacturing process. These nanoparticles for intravenous administration with a size of 97 ± 0.13 nm, narrow size distribution, and an encapsulation efficiency of more than 80% were produced at high throughput. In vitro stability and in vitro drug release testing were applied for quality control purposes. Finally, the toxicity of the photosensitizer was tested in vitro. The cytotoxicity was successfully reduced while the efficacy of the formulation was maintained. First observations using in vivo imaging suggest effective distribution of the nanocarrier system after injection into rodents. Thus, further in vivo testing of the beneficial effects of nanoencapsulation into the matrix system and its formulation will be considered for the delivery of mTHPC to tumor tissues during photodynamic therapy.