Solubilisation of camptothecin by nonionic surfactants and alkyldimethylamine oxides

Martin Pisárčik 1 , Mája Polakovičová 1 , and Ferdinand Devínsky 1
  • 1 Department of Chemical Theory of Drugs, Faculty of Pharmacy, Comenius University, SK-83232, Bratislava, Slovakia

Abstract

The solubilisation of poorly soluble antineoplastic drug camptothecin by nonionic surfactants (polysorbates and octylphenol ethoxylates) and alkyldimethylamine oxide surfactants with the alkyl chain length 8 to 16 carbon atoms was investigated. The hydrophobicity of the solubilising agent turned out to be the primary structural parameter controlling the solubility efficiency of camptothecin in an aqueous solution. The quantitative parameter of solubilisation (drug loading coefficient) provided values in the range of 0.1–1.2% and 0.1–1.0% for alkyldimethylamine oxides and nonionic surfactants, respectively. The decreasing number of oxyethylene units and the extension of the hydrophobic part of nonionic surfactant molecule resulted in the increase of camptothecin solubility. From the dynamic light scattering measurements, the hydrodynamic diameter values of camptothecin-loaded alkyldimethylamine oxide and nonionic micelles were found in the range of 4–42 nm and 5–120 nm, respectively. The experimental values confirmed the increase in micellar size with the increasing alkyl chain length. The values of the packing parameter of camptothecin-loaded dodecyldimethylamine oxide micelles indicate their spherical shape at all the investigated surfactant concentrations. A simple computer model of camptothecin-loaded dodecyldimethylamine oxide micelle provided the diameter of the structure cross section which is consistent with the experimental values.

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