Development of orally administered insulin-loaded polymeric-oligonucleotide nanoparticles: statistical optimization and physicochemical characterization

Chun Y Wong, Jorge Martinez, Jian Zhao, Hani Al-Salami, Crispin R Dass*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Introduction: Therapeutic peptides are administered via parenteral route due to poor absorption in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, instability in gastric acid and GI enzymes. Polymeric drug delivery systems have achieved significant interest in pharmaceutical research due to its feasibility in protecting proteins, tissue targeting and controlled drug release pattern.

Materials and Methods: In the present study, the size, polydispersity index and zeta potential of insulin-loaded nanoparticles were characterized by dynamic light scattering and laser doppler micro-electrophoresis. The main and interaction effects of chitosan concentration and Dz13Scr concentration on the physicochemical properties of the prepared insulin-loaded nanoparticles (size, polydispersity index and zeta potential) were evaluated statistically using Analysis of Variance. A robust procedure of reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography was developed to quantify insulin release in simulated GI buffer.

Results and Discussion: We reported on the effect of two independent parameters, including polymer concentration and oligonucleotide concentration, on the physical characteristics of particles. Chitosan concentration was significant in predicting the size of insulin-loaded CS-Dz13Scr particles. In terms of zeta potential, both chitosan concentration and squared term of chitosan were significant factors that affect the surface charge of particles, which was attributed to the availability of positively-charged amino groups during interaction with negatively-charged Dz13Scr. The excipients used in this study could fabricate nanoparticles with negligible toxicity in GI cells and skeletal muscle cells. The developed formulation could conserve the physicochemical properties after being stored for 1 month at 4 °C.

Conclusion: The obtained results revealed satisfactory results for insulin-loaded CS-Dz13Scr nanoparticles (159.3 nm, pdi 0.331, -1.08 mV). No such similar study has been reported to date to identify the main and interactive significance of the above parameters for the characterization of insulin-loaded polymeric-oligonucleotide nanoparticles. This research is of importance for the understanding and development of protein-loaded nanoparticles for oral delivery.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDrug Development and Industrial Pharmacy
Early online date28 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jun 2020


  • chitosan
  • insulin
  • nanoparticles
  • oligonucleotide
  • polymer
  • protein


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