Background: Lipid nanocarriers have been widely tested as drug delivery systems to treat diseases due to their bioavailability, controlled release, and low toxicity. For the pulmonary route, the Food and Drug Administration favors the use of substances generally recognized as safe, as well as biodegradable and biocompatible to minimize the possibility of toxicity. Tuberculosis (TB) remains a public health threat worldwide, mainly due to the long treatment duration and adverse effects. Therefore, new drug delivery systems to treat TB are needed.
Objective: Physicochemical characterization of different lipid-based nanocarriers was used to optimize carrier properties. Optimized systems were incubated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis to assess whether lipid-based systems act as an energy source for the bacteria, which could be counterproductive to therapy.
Method: Several excipients and surfactants were evaluated to prepare different types of nanocarriers using high-pressure homogenization.
Results: A mixture of trimyristin with castor oil was chosen as the lipid matrix after differential scanning calorimetry analysis. A mixture of egg lecithin and PEG-660 stearate was selected as an optimal surfactant system as this mixture formed the most stable formulations. Three types of lipid nanocarriers, solid lipid nanoparticles, nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC), and Nano emulsions, were prepared, with the NLC systems showing the most suitable properties for further evaluation. It may provide the advantages of increasing the entrapment efficiency, drug release, and the ability to be lyophilized, producing powder for pulmonary administration being an alternative to entrap poor water-soluble molecules.
Conclusion: Furthermore, the NLC system can be considered for use as a platform for the treatment of TB by the pulmonary route.