• MALARKODI VELRAJ Professor, Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vels Institute of Science Technology and Advanced Studies (VISTAS), Vels University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.


Objective: To formulate and evaluate Erlotinib loaded Liquorice crude protein (LCP) nanoparticles from the powdered liquorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) using Box-Behnken design.

Methods: Erlotinib loaded liquorice crude protein nanoparticles were prepared by desolvation method using ethanol-water (1:2 ratio), Tween-20 (2%v/v) and gluteraldehyde (8% v/v) as cross linking agent. Box-Behnken design with 3 factors, 2 levels and 3 responses was used to optimize the prepared nanoparticles. The independent variables were taken as A) Erlotinib concentration B) LCP concentration and C) Incubation time with responses R1) Drug entrapment efficiency R2) Drug Release 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, particle size and zeta potential by Photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS) and surface morphology by TEM. The entrapment efficiency (%), and in vitro drug release(%) studies in PBS pH 7.4 (26 h) were carried out. The experimental values were found to be in close resemblance with the predicted value obtained from the optimization process. The invitro cytotoxicity studies of the prepared nanoparticles in lung cancer cell line (A 549) were studied with different concentrations at different time intervals.

Results: The average particle size, zeta potential, Polydispersity index (PDI) were found to be 292.1nm, -25.8 mV and 0.384 respectively. TEM image showed that the nanoparticles dispersed well with a uniform shape and showed not much change during storage. The invitro drug release showed 41.23% for 26 hrs in PBS (7.4) and release kinetics showed highest R2 value (0.982) for Korsmeyer-Peppas model, followed by 0.977 for Higuchi model. The invitro cytotoxicity of prepared nanoparticles in A 549 cell line showed good results with different concentrations at different time intervals.

Conclusion: Erlotinib (Erlo) is a BCS class II drug with poor solubility, poor bioavailability and selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor for non small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) through oral administration. To improve the oral bioavailability and absorption of molecules, plant protein as carriers is used for developing drug delivery systems due to their proven safety. The optimization variables were Conc of Erlo, Conc. of LCP and Incubation time to get responses as drug entrapment efficiency, drug release and particle size. The compatibility between drug and LCP were evaluated by FTIR.

Keywords: Erlotinib, LCP, bioavailability, nanoparticles, desolvation, drug release, Box-Behnken design, cytotoxicity


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