The use of simple dynamic mucosal models and confocal microscopy for the evaluation of lyophilised nasal formulations

McInnes, F.J. and Baillie, A.J. and Stevens, H. (2007) The use of simple dynamic mucosal models and confocal microscopy for the evaluation of lyophilised nasal formulations. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 59. pp. 759-767. ISSN 0022-3573

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A range of methods is reported in the literature for assessing hydration and adhesion parameters in the performance of nasal bioadhesive formulations; however, these tests do not always represent the dynamic conditions in the nasal cavity. Lyophilised formulations intended for nasal administration were evaluated using in-vitro tests designed in an attempt to mimic relevant processes in the nasal cavity, and intended to discriminate between different formulations. Initial investigative studies using scanning electron microscopy revealed that the lyophilisate had a highly porous internal structure, expected to provide an ideal porous pathway for re-hydration. Vapour sorption analysis demonstrated substantial weight gain of the lyophilisates on exposure to 95% relative humidity, ranging from 38% to 66%. Agar was used as a synthetic mucosal model designed to provide a standardised quantity of water available for rehydration of the formulations in in-vitro tests. A dynamic adhesion test and a texture analyser sliding test were designed to quantify different aspects of the spreading and adhesion of the hydrating formulations on the synthetic mucosal surface. Examination of the lyophilised formulations using confocal microscopy allowed visualisation and quantification of the initial rate of water ingress into the lyophilisates, which was found to consist of an initial rapid phase, followed by a slower steady-state phase. The results demonstrated that the use of a combination of methods representing the dynamic conditions of the nasal cavity is advisable in order to evaluate a formulation fully and to avoid misleading conclusions