Design and evaluation of controlled-release niosomes and discomes for naltrexone hydrochloride ocular delivery.
ABSTRACT This study aimed at preparing and evaluating Span 60-based niosomes for ocular delivery of naltrexone hydrochloride (NTX). Selected charged lipids [dicetyl phosphate (DCP) and stearyl amine (STA)] and surfactants [poly-24-oxyethylene cholesteryl ether (C24) and sodium cholate (CH)] were investigated as bilayer membrane additives and prepared using four different methods. A 5-fold increase in NTX entrapment efficiency (EE%) was achieved with 2%-5% mol/mol additives. Differential scanning calorimetry thermograms revealed that the additives completely abolished gel/liquid transition suggesting that the bilayer membranes could accommodate the additives. The volume diameters D (4, 3) of the prepared niosomes were significantly [p < 0.05, analysis of variance (ANOVA)] dependent on the additive used. D (4,3) values of F-C24 and F-CH were 22.41 ± 1.40 and 5.37 ± 1.40 μ m, respectively. F-S60, F-DCP, and F-CH shapes were typical spherical, whereas F-C24 was oval giant niosomes (discomes). In vitro drug release parameters showed that the prepared niosomes significantly (p < 0.01, ANOVA) controlled NTX release rate and extent. Ex vivo transcorneal permeation studies conducted using excised cow corneas showed that niosomes were capable of controlling NTX permeation and enhance its corneal permeability. The prepared niosomal formulations were found practically nonirritant when applied onto the surface of a 10-day-old hen's chorioallantoic membrane.