Stealth lipid polymer hybrid nanoparticles loaded with rutin for effective brain delivery – comparative study with the gold standard (Tween 80): optimization, characterization and biodistribution

<p>The blood–brain barrier is considered the leading physiological obstacle hindering the transport of neurotherapeutics to brain cells. The application of nanotechnology coupled with surfactant coating is one of the efficacious tactics overcoming this barrier. The aim of this study was to develop lipid polymer hybrid nanoparticles (LPHNPs), composed of a polymeric core and a phospholipid shell entangled, for the first time, with PEG-based surfactants (SAA) viz. TPGS or Solutol HS 15 in comparison with the gold standard Tween 80, aiming to enhance brain delivery and escape opsonization. LPHNPs were successfully prepared using modified single-step nanoprecipitation technique, loaded with the flavonoid rutin (RU), extracted from the flowers of <i>Calendula officinalis</i> L., and recently proved as a promising anti-Alzheimer. The effect of the critical process parameters (CPP) <i>viz.</i> PLGA amount, <i>W</i><sub>lecithin</sub>/<i>W</i><sub>PLGA</sub> ratio, and Tween 80 concentration on critical quality attributes (CQA); entrapment, size and size distribution, was statistically analyzed <i>via</i> design of experiments, and optimized using the desirability function. The optimized CPP were maintained while substituting Tween 80 with other PEG-SAA. All hybrid particles exhibited spherical shape with perceptible lipid shells. The biocompatibility of the prepared NPs was confirmed by hemolysis test. The pharmacokinetic assessments, post-intravenous administration to rats, revealed a significant higher RU bioavailability for NPs relative to drug solution. Biodistribution studies proved non-significant differences in RU accumulation within brain, but altered phagocytic uptake among various LPHNPs. The present study endorses the successful development of LPHNPs using PEG-SAA, and confirms the prospective applicability of TPGS and Solutol in enhancing brain delivery.</p>