• GEETHA V. S. College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Govt. Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala, India, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vels Institute of Science Technology and Advanced Studies (VISTAS), Vels University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • MALARKODI VELRAJ School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vels Institute of Science Technology and Advanced Studies (VISTAS), Vels University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India


Objective: To formulate, optimize and evaluate 5-fluorouracil loaded liquorice crude protein nanoparticles for sustained drug delivery using Box-Behnken design.

Methods: 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) loaded liquorice crude protein (LCP) nanoparticles were prepared by desolvation method using ethanol-water (1:2 ratio), Tween-80 (2%v/v) as stabilizing agent and gluteraldehyde (8% v/v) as cross linking agent. The optimization of prepared nanoparticles was carried out using Box-Behnken design with 3 factors 2 levels and 3 responses. The independent variables were A)5-FU concentration B)LCP concentration and C) sonication time while the responses were R1) Drug entrapment efficiency R2) Drug loading efficiency and R3) Particle size. The correlation between factors and responses were studied through response surface plots and mathematical equations. The nanoparticles were evaluated for FTIR, physicochemical properties like particle size and zeta potential by Photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS) and surface morphology by TEM. The entrapment efficiency, drug loading efficiency and in vitro drug release studies in PBS pH 7.4 (24 h) were carried out. The observed values were found to be in close agreement with the predicted value obtained from the optimization process.

Results: 5-fluorouracil loaded LCP nanoparticles were prepared by desolvation method, the optimization was carried out by Box-Behnken design and the final formulation was evaluated for particle size (301.1 nm), zeta-potential (-25.8mV), PDI(0.226), with entrapment efficiency (64.07%), drug loading efficiency (28.54%), in vitro drug release (65.2% in 24 h) respectively. The formulated nanoparticles show Higuchi model drug release kinetics with sustained drug delivery for 24 h in pH7.4 buffer.

Conclusion: The results were proved to be the most valuable for the sustained delivery of 5-Fluorouracil using liquorice crude protein as carrier. 5-FU–LCP nanoparticles were prepared using Tween-80 as stabilizing agent and gluteraldehyde as cross-linking agent to possess ideal sustained drug release characteristics.

Keywords: Nanoparticle, Plant protein, Desolvation method, Particle size, Zeta potential, Entrapment efficiency, Drug release


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