Spray freezing into liquid to produce protein microparticles
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Recent advances in molecular biology have led to an explosive growth in the number of peptide and protein drugs derived from both recombinant technology and conventional peptide drug design. However, development of peptide and protein therapeutics has proven to be very challenging because of inadequate physical and chemical stability. In recent years, particle engineering processes have become promising approaches for enhancement of protein stability as well as provide options for more delivery routes. In this research program, spray freezing into liquid (SFL) process was developed and optimized in order to achieve broad platform and application in protein and peptide drug delivery systems. The overall goal of this research was to produce stabilized protein and peptide microparticles for various drug delivery systems by using SFL particle engineering technology. Firstly, the use of the SFL process to produce peptide microparticles was investigated. Insulin microparticles produced by the SFL process were highly porous, low tap density and narrow particle size distribution. The influence of the SFL process parameters and excipients on the physicochemical properties of peptide microparticles was determined and compared to the widely used particle formation technique--freeze-drying. The SFL process was further used to produce protein microparticles. In the study, bovine serum albumin (BSA), a medium sized protein, was used as a model drug. The influence of SFL process parameters and excipients on the stability of BSA was studied. Very low monomer loss of BSA was found in this study even though the specific surface area of the powder was very high. Results also demonstrated that the SFL process had minimal influence on protein structure. The SFL process was further investigated by comparing the SFL process to spray freeze drying process (SFD), which is a relatively new process to produce protein and peptide microparticles. The influence of atomization, freezing and drying on the stability of lysozyme was investigated for both the SFL and SFD process. This study tested the hypothesis that the SFL process is a better process than SFD process because of avoiding air-liquid interface and minimum interfacial surface absorption of protein in SFL process. The particle size of protein and peptide microparticles produced by SFL process was further reduced to nanoparticles by sonication or homogenization processes in organic solvent. In this study, the influence of process parameters on the particle size and enzyme activity of lysozyme was investigated. The results showed that sonication or homogenization did not influence the enzyme activity of lysozyme. Lastly, insulin and insulin/dextran microparticles produced by SFL the process was encapsulated into polymer microspheres for oral delivery. Complexation and polymer composition was studied in order to optimize release and stability of insulin. Insulin nanoparticles in microspheres minimized the release of insulin in acid with high drug loading compared to other studies. The stability of insulin was decreased by complexation to dextran sulfate. The results of this research demonstrated that the SFL process offers a highly effective approach to produce protein and peptide powders suitable for different drug delivery systems. The microparticles produced by the SFL process had desirable characteristics such as narrow particle size distribution and high porosity. The stability of protein and peptide was well maintained through the SFL process. Therefore, SFL process is an effective particle engineering process for protein and peptide pharmaceuticals.