A dynamic in vitro permeation study on solid mono- and diacyl-phospholipid dispersions of celecoxib

Ann-Christin Jacobsen, Philipp Alexander Elvang, Annette Bauer-Brandl, Martin Brandl

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The current study documents enhanced apparent solubility of the BCS class II drug celecoxib (CXB) when formulated as solid phospholipid dispersion (SPD) with either mono- or diacyl-phospholipids by freeze drying from hydro-alcoholic solvent. The enhanced solubility upon dispersion in buffer or fasted state simulated intestinal fluid (FaSSIF) is interpreted to be due to two effects: (1) amorphization of CXB, inducing supersaturation, which is also observed when CXB is freeze dried in the absence of phospholipids and (2) association of CXB with spontaneously forming colloidal structures, such as vesicles and/or micelles, promoting solubilization. The latter effect depended on the CXB-to-phospholipid ratio, where monoacyl-phospholipid was a more efficient solubilizer than diacyl-phospholipid. In the case of diacyl-phospholipid, solubilization also depended strongly on the dispersion medium, where FaSSIF induced a more pronounced solubilization effect than buffer. In contrast, a significantly enhanced in-vitro permeability of CXB across a biomimetic barrier (Permeapad®) was found only with low lipid contents up to a CXB to phospholipid mass-ratio of 1:10 or in the absence of phospholipid; above this critical ratio, permeability was not enhanced, i.e. comparable to that observed with a suspension of non-processed (crystalline) drug. This non-linear dissolution-/permeation-behavior was observed independently of (1) the type of phospholipid (monoacyl- or diacyl-) employed and (2) the dispersion medium (buffer or FaSSIF), despite the fact that different patterns of co-existing colloidal states were observed from mono-/diacyl-phospholipid formulations in buffer/FaSSIF (small bile salt micelles, intermediate size mixed micelles and large vesicular structures), assessed by asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation/multi angle laser light scattering. A uniform mechanistic hypothesis is presented to describe the impact of phospholipids on CXB permeation behavior: Obviously, the critical drug-to-phospholipid ratio represents a compromise between optimal stabilization of the amorphous state-induced supersaturation and reduced thermodynamic activity of CXB due to association with colloidal states, where the type of colloidal state (vesicle or micelle) appears to be of minor importance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Pages (from-to)199-207
Publication statusPublished - 15. Jan 2019


  • (Lyso-)phosphatidylcholine
  • BCS class II
  • Dissolution
  • Flow field-flow fractionation
  • Permeation
  • Phospholipid
  • Solid dispersion
  • Freeze Drying
  • Solubility
  • Celecoxib/chemistry
  • Phospholipids/chemistry
  • Intestinal Secretions/chemistry


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