Purpose: The aim of this work was to develop a milk-based powder formulation appropriate for pediatric delivery of ritonavir (RIT). Methods: Ultra-high pressure homogenization (UHPH) at 0.1, 300 and 500 MPa was used to process a dispersion of pasteurized skim milk (SM) and ritonavir. Loading efficiency was determined by RP-HPLC-UV; characterization of RIT:SM systems was carried out by apparent average hydrodynamic diameter and rheological measurements as well as different analytical techniques including Trp fluorescence, UV spectroscopy, DSC, FTIR and SEM; and delivery capacity of casein micelles was determined by in vitro experiments promoting ritonavir release. Results: Ritonavir interacted efficiently with milk proteins, especially, casein micelles, regardless of the processing pressure; however, results suggest that, at 0.1 MPa, ritonavir interacts with caseins at the micellar surface, whilst, at 300 and 500 MPa, ritonavir is integrated to the protein matrix during UHPH treatment. Likewise, in vitro experiments showed that ritonavir release from micellar casein systems is pH dependent; with a high retention of ritonavir during simulated gastric digestion and a rapid delivery under conditions simulating the small intestine environment. Conclusions: Skim milk powder, especially, casein micelles are potentially suitable and efficient carrier systems to develop novel milk-based and low-ethanol powder formulations of ritonavir appropriate for pediatric applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Pharmaceutical Science
- Organic Chemistry
- Pharmacology (medical)