The low encapsulation efficiency of conventional solid lipid microparticles (SLMs) especially for hydrophilic drugs has remained a challenge to drug formulation experts. This work seeks to address the issue of inefficient delivery of metformin hydrochloride (MTH), a potent hydrophilic oral antihyperglycemic agent, using novel SLMs based on solidified reverse micellar solutions (SRMS) prepared by melt-emulsification using a lipid derived from Capra hircus and Phospholipon® 90H. Characterization based on size, morphology, zeta potential, polydispersity index, encapsulation efficiency (EE%), loading capacity (LC) and time-resolved stability were carried out on the SLMs. The in vitro release of MTH from the SLMs was performed in phosphate buffer (pH 7.4) while the in vivo antidiabetic properties were investigated in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Stable, spherical and smooth SLMs were obtained. Loading of MTH into the SLMs had no effect on the surface charge of the particles. The SLMs with 1.0%w/w PEG 4000 resulted in significantly (p < 0.05) higher EE% while those with 2.0%w/w gave the least. The LC values ranged from 20.3 to 29.1 and 14.6 to 24.1 for SLMs containing 500 mg and 250 mg of MTH, respectively. The in vitro release studies revealed significant release of MTH from the SLMs whereas the in vivo antidiabetic studies indicated that novel SLMs containing 500 mg of MTH gave significantly (p < 0.05) higher glucose reduction than glucophage®. This research has shown that SLMs based on SRMS offer a new and better approach of delivering MTH, thus encouraging further development of this formulation.
Drug Delivery 05/2013; 20(3-4). DOI:10.3109/10717544.2013.779329