Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences]]> vol. 53 num. 2 lang. <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[A comparative study of two separate analytical techniques for the simultaneous determination of diclofenac sodium and diacerein from combined dosage form]]> ABSTRACT Diclofenac sodium (DS) and diacerein (DC) have emerged as a potential combination therapy for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Therefore a validated analytical method is essential for the simultaneous estimation of both from combined dosage form. A ratio derivative spectrophotometric and a chromatographic technique have been developed for the simultaneous determination of DS and DC. The quantification was done at 263.00 nm for DC and 304.50 nm for DS in the first method, whereas 257 nm for DC and at 274 nm for DS for LC-DAD analysis in chromatographic method using acetate buffer and methanol as the mobile phase at a flow-rate 0.50 mL/min. Both of these methods are found to be linear in the concentration range under study with r2 value 0.999 and 0.996 for DS and DC respectively in ratio derivative spectroscopy and 0.998 and 0.999 for DS and DC respectively in LC-DAD study. Both of these methods are found to be accurate and precise, though greater robustness and precision is observed with chromatographic analysis over the ratio derivative spectroscopy. Statistically there was no significant difference between proposed ratio derivative spectrophotometric and LC-DAD methods. <![CDATA[Ameliorating the antitumor activity of lenalidomide using PLGA nanoparticles for the treatment of multiple myeloma]]> Abstract Lenalidomide (LND) is an anti-cancer drug and an effective derivative of thalidomide used for multiple myeloma therapy. Because of its poor solubility in water, LND is known to cause low oral bioavailability (below 33%), and as a direct consequence of this, the dosing frequency is extended thus increasing risk of toxicity. To improve its bioavailability and sustained release, the present study aims to formulate polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) for LND using [Poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid)] (PLGA) as a polymer. The polymeric NPs were evaluated for particle size, SEM, XRD, drug content, entrapment efficiency (EE), in vitro release studies and in vivo bioavailability studies in rats. The formulated NPs possessed a size of 179±0.9 nm and a zeta potential of -24.4 ± 0.2 mV. The drug loading and EE of the optimized formulation was 32 ± 0.37 % and 78 ± 0.92% respectively. After oral administration of LND PLGA-NPs, the relative bioavailability was enhanced about 3.67-fold compared to LND. This study demonstrates the novel drug delivery for LND with PLGA-NPs as effective drug delivery system for sustained delivery of LND. <![CDATA[Vitamin K: content in food consumed in São Paulo, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Recent research on Vitamin K has shown its importance in maintaining vascular and bone health. Brazilian food composition tables do not show phylloquinone content in national foods. These data are needed to obtain more reliable results in nutritional status assessment studies of individuals in relation to this vitamin as studies have shown a geographical influence in food phylloquinone content. This study aims to determine phylloquinone (Vitamin K1) levels in its most important source: dark green leaved vegetables. Several varieties of vegetables were purchased directly from CEAGESP (General Warehouse Company of São Paulo) at different times. Phylloquinone was extracted using organic solvents and quantified by High Performance Liquid Chromatography - HPLC. Results show the concentrations of phylloquinone in commonly consumed foodstuffs. In general, results showed variations with data from literature on the amount of Vitamin K in the plants analysed. <![CDATA[A simple HPLC method for the determination of halcinonide in lipid nanoparticles: development, validation, encapsulation efficiency, and <strong> <em>in vitro</em></strong> drug permeation]]> ABSTRACT Halcinonide is a high-potency topical glucocorticoid used for skin inflammation treatments that presents toxic systemic effects. A simple and quick analytical method to quantify the amount of halcinonide encapsulated into lipid nanoparticles, such as polymeric lipid-core nanoparticles and solid lipid nanoparticles, was developed and validated regarding the drug's encapsulation efficiency and in vitro permeation. The development and validation of the analytical method were carried out using the high performance liquid chromatography with the UV detection at 239 nm. The validation parameters were specificity, linearity, precision and accuracy, limits of detection and quantitation, and robustness. The method presented an isocratic flow rate of 1.0 mL.min-1, a mobile phase methanol:water (85:15 v/v), and a retention time of 4.21 min. The method was validated according to international and national regulations. The halcinonide encapsulation efficiency in nanoparticles was greater than 99% and the in vitro drug permeation study showed that less than 9% of the drug permeated through the membrane, indicating a nanoparticle reservoir effect, which can reduce the halcinonide's toxic systemic effects. These studies demonstrated the applicability of the developed and validated analytical method to quantify halcinonide in lipid nanoparticles. <![CDATA[Preclinical evaluation of nephroprotective potential of a probiotic formulation LOBUN on Cyclosporine-A induced renal dysfunction in Wistar rats]]> ABSTRACT The aim of present study was to evaluate the nephroprotective effect of probiotic formulation LOBUN on Cyclosporine A (CsA) induced renal dysfunction in Wistar rats. CsA (20 mg/kg body weight s.c) was administered for 15 days to cause renal dysfunction in Wistar rats. The probiotic formulation LOBUN was administered with the dose of 500 mg/kg body weight (p.o) for twice (TGI) and thrice a day (TGII). The samples were analyzed for the parameters like blood urine nitrogen (BUN), serum creatinine, serum uric acid, total serum protein and urine proteins, urine potassium, urine sodium. The renal functional and histopathological studies revealed that the oral administration of probiotic formulation LOBUN has provided appreciable renoprotection and possibly alleviated the symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) at the dose of 500 mg/kg body weight administered thrice a day and also the results were supported by histopathological findings. <![CDATA[Physical and chemical quality, biodiversity, and thermodynamic prediction of adhesion of bacterial isolates from a water purification system: a case study]]> ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to evaluate the quality of water purification system and identify the bacteria this system, predict bacterial adherence according to the hydrophobicity of these microorganisms and of the polypropylene distribution loop for purified water. The assessment of drinking water that supplies the purification system allowed good-quality physical, chemical, and microbiological specifications. The physicochemical specifications of the distributed purified water were approved, but the heterotrophic bacteria count was higher than allowed (&gt;2 log CFU mL-1).The sanitation of the storage tank with chlorine decreased the number of bacteria adhered to the surface (4.34 cycles log). By sequencing of the 16SrDNA genes, six species of bacteria were identified. The contact angle was determined and polypropylene surface and all bacteria were considered to be hydrophilic, and adhesion was thermodynamically unfavorable. This case study showed the importance of monitoring the water quality in the purified water systems and the importance of sanitization with chemical agents. The count of heterotrophic bacteria on the polypropylene surface was consistent with the predicted thermodynamics results because the number of adhered cells reached approximate values of 5 log CFU cm-2. <![CDATA[Inclusion complex of amiodarone hydrochloride with cyclodextrins: preparation, characterization and dissolution rate evaluation]]> ABSTRACT This study aimed to improve the water solubility of amiodarone hydrochloride (AMH) via inclusion complexes with β-cyclodextrin, methyl-β-cyclodextrin and 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin. Inclusion complexes were developed by physical mixture, coevaporation, spray-drying and freeze-drying. Solid state analysis was performed using X-ray powder diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry and scanning electronic microscopy. Thermodynamic studies demonstrate that the inclusion complexes of drug into different cyclodextrins were an exothermic process that occurred spontaneously. Water solubility and drug dissolution rates were significantly increased after the formation of inclusion complexes with the cyclodextrins evaluated in relation to the physical mixture and pure drug. The present study provides useful information for the potential application of complexation with amiodarone HCl. This may be a good strategy for the development of solid pharmaceutical dosage forms. <![CDATA[Effectiveness of home pharmaceutical interventions in metabolic syndrome: a randomized controlled trial]]> ABSTRACT Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a group of different risk factors that raises the chances of develop several health problems such, as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. There are few cases in literature of studies that specifically address the use of pharmaceutical care in MetS. The aim of study was to evaluate the effectiveness of home pharmaceutical interventions in patients with this syndrome. The randomized clinical trial was conducted in subjects with diagnosis of MetS treated in a basic unit of health from Cuité, Paraíba. The patients were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to two groups: intervention (IG) and control (CG). The IG received monthly individual pharmaceutical interventions, while the CG did not. The effectiveness of the intervention protocol was measured after six months, comparing the hemodynamic values, anthropometric, biochemistry, cardiovascular risk, medication adherence, drug related problems (DRP) and quality of life. The sample consisted of 63 individuals (33 IG and 30 CG) and older than 60 years. The majority of pharmaceutical interventions were educational and/or behavioral. In the intervention group, significant differences were observed in the parameters systolic and diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides, medication adherence and DRP. The pharmaceutical interventions at home were effective in improving medication adherence, decreasing DRPs and helping to control components of the metabolic syndrome. <![CDATA[β-lactamase-producing Gram-negative bacteria in an intensive care unit in southern Brazil]]> ABSTRACT The present study evaluated the antimicrobial susceptibility profile, β-lactamase production, and genetic diversity of Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter spp. using phenotypic identification, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and β-lactamase phenotypic detection. Isolates were obtained from patients in an intensive care unit in a hospital in southern Brazil. Bacterial genomic DNA was extracted, followed by the genotypic detection of carbapenemases and enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus-polymerase chain reaction (ERIC-PCR). Fifty-six isolates (26 Klebsiella pneumoniae, five Escherichia coli, three Enterobacter aerogenes, nine P. aeruginosa, and 13 Acinetobacter spp.) were evaluated. The phenotypic extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) test was positive in 53.8% of the K. pneumoniae isolates, 100.0% of the E. coli isolates, and 100.0% of the E. aerogenes isolates. Phenotypic and genotypic testing of K. pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) was positive in 50.0% of the K. pneumoniae isolates. Phenotypic and genotypic testing showed that none of the P. aeruginosa or Acinetobacter spp. isolates were positive for metallo- β-lactamase (MBL). The bla OXA gene was detected only in Acinetobacter spp. The lowest genetic diversity, determined by ERIC-PCR, was observed among the KPC-producing K. pneumoniae isolates and OXA-producing Acinetobacter spp. isolates, indicating the inadequate dissemination control of multidrug-resistant bacteria in this hospital environment. <![CDATA[Assessment of pharmaceutical services in HIV/AIDS health units in the city of Niterói, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT This study aimed to conduct an assessment of pharmaceutical services in HIV/AIDS in the city of Niteroi, Brazil, with emphasis on management. It was done a descriptive cross-sectional study, and the approach used was a normative assessment focused on quality. The indicators used were analyzed individually or grouped according to the components of pharmaceutical services. The assessment identified some good points, especially regarding the good availability of ARVs, and good guide patients in the use of these drugs, and also some problems such as low levels of compliance in relation to good dispensing practices criteria and storage and a high time for the distribution of medicines. The result was a degree of 50.3% compliance with the quality criteria, considered only regular in accordance with trial made. Proposals were suggested for actions and interventions, especially in relation to the improvement of structural conditions of pharmacies of health facilities in the city, and increased training of professionals involved in the services. <![CDATA[Hydrolyzed collagen interferes with <strong> <em>in vitro</em></strong> photoprotective effectiveness of sunscreens]]> ABSTRACT The chronological skin aging is a progressive and natural process with genetic and physiological changes. However, ultraviolet (UV) radiation may accelerate the oxidative stress, generating carcinogenesis and photoaging. Natural compounds and their applications are considered a trend in the cosmetic market. The protein-based film-forming compounds play an important role, once it collaborates for the better distribution of sunscreens on the skin. Here we investigated the in vitro photoprotective effectiveness of sunscreens containing the hydrolyzed collagen associated with UVA, UVB and/or inorganic filters. Sunscreens were developed with octocrylene (7.5%), butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane (avobenzone) (3.0%) and/or titanium dioxide (5.0%), associated or not with the hydrolyzed collagen (3.0%). In vitro photoprotective effectiveness was determined in a Labsphere(r) UV2000S by the establishment of the sun protection factor (SPF) and critical wavelength (nm) values. Physicochemical and organoleptic characteristics were also assayed. The hydrolyzed collagen subjectively improved the formulation sensory characteristics. However, this bioactive compound led to a decrease of the SPF values of the photoprotective formulations containing octocrylene alone and octocrylene + butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane + TiO2. This inadequate interaction may be considered during the development of new sunscreens intended to contain protein-based components. <![CDATA[Guava: phytochemical composition of a potential source of antioxidants for cosmetic and/or dermatological applications]]> ABSTRACT Guava (Psidium guajava L.) is a native fruit of the American tropics with commercial applications for its taste, flavor and aroma. Numerous pharmacological uses have been described for it, such as the antiseptic effect of its leaves, the use of the fresh fruit and tea from its leaves for the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, diabetes mellitus, and others. However, considering its rich composition, the guava also is a potential source of antioxidants to be used in the development of new formulations for cosmetic and/or dermatological applications, the main focus of this research. Herein, we describe the study of the phytochemical composition and the antioxidant activity of a guava extract prepared with non-toxic solvents aiming its use at biological applications. High performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry were employed to identify the major components, while thermoanalytical measurements and hot stage microscopy were used to assess the chemical stability of guava fruit extract. The antioxidant activity was also evaluated assessing the SOD-like activity and ABTS free radical scavenger. The results show that the extract is a rich source of phenolic compounds, such as quercetin, kaempferol, schottenol, among many others. All of the components found in guava extract exhibit biological effects according to the literature data, mainly antioxidant properties. <![CDATA[Development and validation of an analytical method using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to determine ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate in topical repellent formulations]]> ABSTRACT Diseases caused by insects are frequent in poor countries, leading to epidemic scenarios in urban areas; e.g., Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya. For this reason, the development of a safe and efficient topical formulation is essential. Ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate (EB) is a mosquito repellent developed by Merck, which is used in products for adults, children and especially babies, due to its low allergenic potential. The aim of this work was to validate an analytical methodology to quantify EB in a new poloxamer-based formulation by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The quantification methodology was performed at 40 ºC using a Kromasil reverse-phase column (C18), with the dimensions of 250 x 4.6 mm. The mobile phase was acetonitrile:water (1:1) at a 1.0 mL/min flow-rate. The detector wavelength was set at 218 nm to detect EB. The methodology was considered validated since the results indicated linearity (R2&gt;0.99), specificity, selectivity, precision and accuracy (active recovery between 98% and 102%). It also presented limits of detection and quantification of 0.255 µg/mL and 0.849 µg/mL, respectively. The present study demonstrated the EB vehiculated in poloxamer gel is promising as a new insect repellent formulation, since it could be quantified and quality control evaluated. <![CDATA[Identification of neprilysin as a potential target of arteannuin using computational drug repositioning]]> ABSTRACT The discovery of arteannuin (qinghaosu) in the 20th Century was a major advance for medicine. Besides functioning as a malaria therapy, arteannuin is a pharmacological agent in a range of other diseases, but its mechanism of action remains obscure. In this study, the reverse docking server PharmMapper was used to identify potential targets of arteannuin. The results were checked using the chemical-protein interactome servers DRAR-CPI and DDI-CPI, and verified by AutoDock Vina. The results showed that neprilysin (also known as CD10), a common acute lymphoblastic leukaemia antigen, was the top disease-related target of arteannuin. The chemical-protein interactome and docking results agreed with those of PharmMapper, further implicating neprilysin as a potential target. Although experimental verification is required, this study provides guidance for future pharmacological investigations into novel clinical applications for arteannuin. <![CDATA[Cytotoxicity of hydroxydihydrobovolide and its pharmacokinetic studies in <strong> <em>Portulaca oleracea</em></strong> L. extract]]> ABSTRACT Hydroxydihydrobovolide (HDB) was for the first time isolated from Portulaca oleracea L. and then its cytotoxicity against SH-SYTY cells was studied. Moreover, a rapid and sensitive ultra-high performance liquid chromatographic (UHPLC) method with bergapten as internal standard (IS) was developed and validated to investigate the pharmacokinetics of HDB in rats after intravenous and oral administrations of extract (POE). The UHPLC analysis was performed on a Diamonsil C18 analytical column, using acetonitrile-water (35:65, v/v) as the mobile phase with UV detection at 220 nm. The calibration curve was linear over the range of 0.2-25 µg/mL in rat plasma. The average extraction recovery was from 90.1 to 98.9%, and the relative standard deviations (RSDs) of the intra- and inter-day precisions were less than 4.7 and 4.1%, respectively. The results showed that 50 µM HDB had significant cytotoxicity on the SH-SY5Y cells, which was rapidly distributed with a Tmax of 11 min after oral administration and presented a low absolute bioavailability, 4.12%. <![CDATA[Preliminary <em>in vitro</em> assessment of the potential toxicity and antioxidant activity of <em>Ceiba speciosa</em> (A. St.-Hill) Ravenna (Paineira)]]> ABSTRACT The bark tea of Ceiba speciosa, a tropical tree of the Malvaceae family, is used in the Northwestern Region of Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, to reduce blood cholesterol levels. However, there are no scientific data on the efficacy and safety of this plant. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the in vitro antioxidant and toxic potential of bark extracts of C. speciosa. We performed a preliminary phytochemical analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detection (HPLC-DAD) and evaluated the oxidative damage to proteins and lipids, the radical scavenging effect, and genotoxicity of the lyophilized aqueous extract (LAECs) and the precipitate obtained from the raw ethanol extract (Cs1). The phytochemical profile demonstrated the presence of phenolic and flavonoid compounds. The LAECs and Cs1 prevented damage to lipids and proteins at concentrations of 50 and 10 µg/mL. They also showed a scavenging effect on 2,2-diphenyl-1-pricril-hydrazyl (DPPH) radicals in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, no genotoxic effect was observed at concentrations of 10, 5 and 2 µg/mL in the Comet assay. The present study is the first evaluation regarding the characterization of C. speciosa and its safety, and the results demonstrate its antioxidant potential and suggest that its therapeutic use may be relatively safe. <![CDATA[Analysis of the presence of <strong><em>FLT3</em></strong> gene mutation and association with prognostic factors in adult and pediatric acute leukemia patients]]> ABSTRACT When the FLT3 gene is mutated, it originates a modified receptor with structural changes, which give survival advantage and malignant hematopoietic cell proliferation. Thus, the presence of mutations in this gene is considered an unfavorable prognostic factor. A total of 85 consecutive samples of newly diagnosed untreated patients with AL were included in the study after they provided their informed consent. FLT3 gene mutations were detected by PCR. For the pediatric group, a positive correlation was observed between WBC count and the presence of FLT3-ITD in patients with AML and ALL. Furthermore, children with AML who had the FLT3-ITD mutation showed a tendency to express CD34 in blast cells. In the adult group, the AML patients with FLT3-ITD who expressed CD34 in blast cells had a tendency to worse progression. The present data indicate no association between the prognostic factors evaluated and FLT3 gene mutations in adult with AL. Yet, the presence of FLT3-ITD mutation was significantly related with WBC count in the pediatric group. These findings demonstrate that FLT3 gene mutations can be considered as independent poor prognostic factors. <![CDATA[Liposomes as potential carriers for ketorolac ophthalmic delivery: formulation and stability issues]]> ABSTRACT Drug delivery to treat ocular disorders locally is a challenging endeavor. Traditional ocular dosage form - eye drops - exhibits poor availability, consequently inefficient therapeutic response. The objective of the study was to formulate and characterize a ketorolac tromethamine ocular system with a prolonged release pattern based on liposomes as a vesicular carrier and to design once daily liquid preparation realizing the thermal in situ gelation principle. Liposomes were prepared by film hydration method. The influence of cholesterol concentration, pH and volume of hydration medium, and type and concentration of charging imparting agents were studied. Liposomes were characterized via, morphological examination, vesicular size, and encapsulation efficiency, and in vitro release performance, moreover its stability was assessed. The results obtained highlighted that liposomes showed a closed vesicular multi-lamellar structure. Ketorolac was successfully encapsulated within the liposomal structure in a cholesterol and charge inducing agent concentration-dependent behaviour. The dispersion of liposomes within thermosensitive Poloxamer in situ gel was able to retard the release of the drug by diffusion providing a controlled prolonged delivery. The liposomal formulations were physically stable for six months. Ketorolac tromethamine in situ liposomal gel representing an efficient alternative in terms of ocular retention and patient compliance when compared with conventional eye drops. <![CDATA[Volatile compounds and palynological analysis from pollen pots of stingless bees from the mid-north region of Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Samburá is the botanical pollen nectar agglutinated by salivary secretions of bees. Stingless bee pollen samples were collected in three periods of the year in Monsenhor Gil town, PI, Brazil, for extraction of volatile constituents by different techniques, analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and the palynological analysis used to identify the dominant pollen. Among the volatile compounds identified, kaur-16-ene, methyl and ethyl hexadecanoate, methyl linoleate and heneicosane were identified more frequently in the studied parameters: period of sample collection and extraction techniques used. The palynological analysis identified the pollen of Mimosa caesalpiniifolia Benth. as the dominant pollen in all samples studied. <![CDATA[Content design and validation of a Standard Operating Procedure to provide pharmacotherapy follow-up for the elderly in Cuba]]> ABSTRACT Incorporating methodological tools that allow uniform and standardized development from the clinical pharmacy services to the Pharmaceutical Care practice, is nowadays a necessity. Considering the importance of pharmaceutical care provision to elderly patients, this manuscript introduces the design and content validation of a standard operating procedure to provide pharmacotherapy follow-up to the elderly in nursing homes in Cuba. The procedure was designed based on a deep analysis of documents relative to experiences focused on holistic care to elderly patients, criteria for the identification and assessment of potentially inappropriate prescriptions and the relationship between functional geriatric evaluation and the use of drugs. The content validation was conducted by a panel of experts, using the Delphi methodology, through two working sessions. In addition, we used Likert-type scale to evaluate the procedure by experts, in line with the indicators described. In general, the criteria issued by the experts were very appropriate and allowed us to modify, add or keep several elements of the instrument for the final version. The findings demonstrated that the instrument can be used at any level of health care. <![CDATA[Intranasal mucoadhesivemicroemulsion for neuroprotective effect of curcuminin mptp induced Parkinson model]]> ABSTRACT This study was to investigate the neuroprotective effect of curcumin against inflammation-mediated dopaminergic neurodegeneration in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mice model of Parkinson's disease (PD). Curcumin loaded sodium hyaluronate based mucoadhesive microemulsion (CMME) was developed by using Box Behnken design of Response surface method (RSM) and was characterized. Male C57BL/6 mice were first treated with four intraperitoneal injections of MPTP (20 mg/kg of body weight) at 2 h intervals followed CMME intranasal administration for 14 days at 2.86 mg of curcumin/kg of body weight per once a day. Optimal CMME containing 3% Capmul MCM as oil phase, 37 % of Accenon CC and Transcutol HP at 2.5:1 ratio and 0.5% sodium hyaluronate was stable, non-ciliotoxic with 57.66 nm±3.46 as average globule size. PdI value (0.190 ± 0.19) and TEM result depicted the narrow size distribution of CMME.All three independent variables had a significant effect (p&lt;0.05) on the responses and the designed model was significant for all taken responses. In-vivo results revealed significant reduction of MPTP-mediated dopamine depletion after nasal administration of CMME. MPTP intoxication significantly decreased striatal DA content to 21.29 % which was then elevated to 55.37% after intranasal curcumin treatment. Significant improvement in motor performance as well as gross behavioural activity of mice was observed from rota-rod and open field test findings. Findings of the investigation revealed the symptomatic neuroprotection of curcumin against MPTP-induced neurodegradation in the striatum and hence could be considered as a promising approach to treat PD. <![CDATA[Macromolecular confinement of therapeutic protein in polymeric particles for controlled release: insulin as a case study]]> ABSTRACT Sustained release systems for therapeutic proteins have been widely studied targeting to improve the action of these drugs. Molecular entrapping of proteins is particularly challenging due to their conformational instability. We have developed a micro-structured poly-epsilon-caprolactone (PCL) particle system loaded with human insulin using a simple double-emulsion w/o/w method followed by solvent evaporation method. This formulation is comprised by spheric-shaped microparticles with average size of 10 micrometers. In vitro release showed a biphasic behavior such as a rapid release with about 50% of drug delivered within 2 hours and a sustained phase for up to 48 h. The subcutaneous administration of microencapsulated insulin showed a biphasic effect on glycemia in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice, compatible with short and intermediate-acting behaviors, with first transition peak at about 2 h and the second phase exerting effect for up to 48h after s.c. administration. This study reveals that a simplified double-emulsion system results in biocompatible human-insulin-loaded PCL microparticles that might be used for further development of optimized sustained release formulations of insulin to be used in the restoration of hormonal levels. <![CDATA[Development of a new HPLC method for <strong><em>in vitro</em></strong> and <strong><em>in vivo</em></strong> studies of haloperidol in solid lipid nanoparticles]]> ABSTRACT A simple and sensitive HPLC method was developed and validated for the quantification of haloperidol in solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs). The developed method was used for detection of shelf life of haloperidol in SLNs. Calibration curve of haloperidol was also constructed in rat plasma using loratidine as internal standard. In vivo studies were performed on rats and concentration of haloperidol in brain and blood was measured for the determination of various pharmacokinetic and hence brain targeting parameters. Chromatogram separation was achieved using C18 column as stationary phase. The mobile phase consisted of 100 mM/L potassium dihydrogen phosphate-acetonitrile-TEA (10:90:0.1, v/v/v) and the pH was adjusted with o-phosphoric acid to 3.5. Flow rate of mobile phase was 2 mL/minute and eluents were monitored at 230 nm using UV/VIS detector. The method was validated for linearity, precision, accuracy, reproducibility, limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ). Linearity for haloperidol was in the range of 1-16 µg/mL. The value of LOD and LOQ was found to be 0.045 and 0.135 μg/mL respectively. The shelf life of SLNs formulation was found to be 2.31 years at 4 oC. Various parameters like drug targeting index (DTI), drug targeting efficiency (DTE) and nose-to-brain direct transport (DTP) were determined for HP-SLNs &amp; HP-Sol administered intranasally to evaluate the extent of nose-to-brain delivery. The value of DTI, DTE and DTP for HP-SLNs was found to be 23.62, 2362.43 % and 95.77% while for HP-Sol, values were 11.28, 1128.61 % and 91.14 % respectively. <![CDATA[An innovative, simple, fast, and less toxic high-performance liquid chromatographic method for determination of prednisone in capsules]]> ABSTRACT Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory steroid drug widely used in clinical practice. However, no high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method has been described in the literature for the determination of prednisone in capsules until now. Thus, an HPLC method was developed using a C18 (250x4.0, 5 µm) column, with methanol:water (70:30) as mobile phase at a flow rate of 1 mL/min and detection at 240 nm. The developed method was validated following current Brazilian legislation. Additionally, linearity was assessed by evaluating the assumptions of normality, homoscedasticity, and independency of residuals, and the fit to the linear model. The method showed linearity (r2&gt;0.99) over the range of 14.0-26.0 µg/mL, selectivity, precision (RSD&lt;2.0%), robustness, and accuracy (average recovery of 100.05%). The chromatographic procedure was applied for assay and uniformity content determination of three different batches of prednisone capsules, showing to be suitable for their quality control. <![CDATA[Evaluation of demands of inclusion, exclusion and alteration of technologies in the Brazilian Health System submitted to the National Committee on Technology Incorporation]]> ABSTRACT The steady increase in the number of health technologies and advances in associated research generate management challenges in the choice of technologies to be made available to the public. From 2011, the process of inclusion, exclusion and alteration of technologies to the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS) has undergone major transformations, such as the creation of the National Committee on Technology Incorporation (CONITEC). This study analyzed the decisions of CONITEC since its inception until July 2015. The analyzed variables were: type of technology, reason for application, name of the technology, indication, claimant and CONITEC decision status. We found that the Government was the main claimant, accounting for 58.1% of the 420 cases. The most frequent request was inclusion (93.8%) and the technology type was medicine (61.4%). Of the incorporated medicines, the classes of antineoplastic/immunomodulatory were the most frequent (39.47%). Society's desire for inclusion of an increasing amount of health technology contrasts with the limited resources available to management, which causes budget concerns. Using Health Technology Assessment (HTA), advances resulting from these innovations in the process were highlighted, and challenges were identified for the management and the academic community. <![CDATA[Metronidazole thermogel improves retention and decreases permeation through the skin]]> ABSTRACT Metronidazole (MTZ) is widely used as the standard antibiotic for the treatment of rosacea and, more recently, is being used off label in Brazilian hospitals for the treatment of wounds. Following oral administration, minimal amounts of active agent reaches the skin and side effects are strongly induced. Consequently, MTZ is currently being applied topically in order to improve the therapeutic efficacy with reduced side effects, with Rozex(r) (RZ) (an MTZ gelled formulation) being the only marketed product. This study examined whether the use of MTZ 0.75% from thermogel formulations could improve drug retention and reduce dermal exposure compared to that by Rozex(r). Following a 21 h permeation study, the highest total amount of MTZ permeated through the rat healthy and disturbed skin was seen with Rozex(r), but similar to all formulations regardless of the skin condition. On the other hand, the amount retained in the epidermis/dermis was larger for thermogel formulations; at least 4 fold that of Rozex(r), when the stratum corneum was present as a barrier. In conclusion, thermogel formulations can be favorable alternatives to Rozex(r) for the topical application of MTZ with improved efficacy and reduced side effects. <![CDATA[A stability-indicating HPLC-PDA method for the determination of ferulic acid in chitosan-coated poly(lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles]]> ABSTRACT The development and validation of a simple and efficient method for the quantification of ferulic acid in poly (D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) nanoparticles coated with chitosan (CS) by reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography coupled to photodiode array detection was described. For the chromatographic analysis, a reverse phase C-18 column was used, mobile phase consisting of acetonitrile and 0.5% acetic acid (37:63, v/v), isocratically eluted at a flow rate of 1 mL/min. Drug determination was performed at 320 nm. The method was validated in terms of the selectivity, linearity, precision, accuracy, robustness, limits of detection and quantification. The method was linear in the range of 10 to 100 μg/mL (r=0.999) and presented limit of detection and quantification of 102 ng/mL and 310 ng/mL, respectively. The method was precise (intra and inter-day) based on relative standard deviation values (less than 3.20%). The recovery was between 101.06 and 102.10%. Robustness was demonstrated considering change in mobile phase proportion. Specificity assay showed no interference from the components of nanoparticles or from the degradation products derived from acidic and oxidative conditions. The proposed method was suitable to be applied in determining the encapsulation efficiency of ferulic acid in PLGA-CS nanoparticles and can be employed as stability indicating one. <![CDATA[Promotion of cutaneous penetration of nifedipine for nanoemulsion]]> ABSTRACT This article reports the development and characterization of a nanoemulsion (NE) able to improve the cutaneous penetration of nifedipine. NE with nifedipine was development and characterized, presenting droplet size of 20 nm with low polydispersity index (IP&lt;0.1), spherical shape without aggregation, pH compatible with typical skin levels and stability evaluated by seven months. In the permeation studies, a classical formulation based in an oil/water cream containing nifedipine was used for comparison with NE. Nanoemulsion promoted and improved the retention of nifedipine in the epidermis and dermis in relation to classical formulation. This promoting effect is related to the nanometric size of the droplets of the NE (20 nm), which give him a large superficial area, favoring the contact of the nanocarrier with the skin surface. The NE was efficient in promoting accumulation of nifedipine in the dermis, which is the site of vasodilation action. NE was not irritating according to the primary dermal irritation tests. NE is a promising release system to promote cutaneous penetration of nifedipine and can be used in the future in clinical trials to promote healing of lesions caused by peripheral vascular diseases. <![CDATA[Evaluation of polymeric PLGA nanoparticles conjugated to curcumin for use in aPDT]]> ABSTRACT Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) involves the association of a photosensitizing agent with a light source with the goal of causing apoptosis or microbial lysing. The use of compounds with natural active principles is gaining prominence throughout the world. Several studies from groups that are linked to the development of innovations in the pharmaceutical market have used natural dyes, such as curcumin, the efficacy of which has been demonstrated in aPDT trials. Difficulties related to physicochemical stability, solubility and cell penetration are some of the challenges associated with this field. The present work aimed to prepare, investigate the characteristics and improve the photodynamic activity of PLGA-based nanoparticles loaded with curcumin for use in aPDT therapy. Using the simple technique of emulsion during the evaporation of a solvent, the particles were built, characterized and tested against microorganisms with importance for medicine and dentistry. The results revealed that the particles were able to protect the curcumin against degradation and eliminate some microorganism species at nanomolar concentrations. <![CDATA[Molecular biology of human epidermal receptors, signaling pathways and targeted therapy against cancers: new evidences and old challenges]]> ABSTRACT Human epidermal receptors (HER1/2/3/4) belong to the class of receptor-type tyrosine kinases. After binding a ligand, dimerization, it will ocurr activation of intracellular kinases after two-dimensional and cytoplasmic tail reciprocal transphosphorylation. This transphosphorylation recruits signaling pathways such as Ras/Raf/MEK/Erk1-2, PI3-K/AKT and JAK/STAT, which can affect the cell cycle, cytoskeleton reorganization, apoptosis, metastasis, differentiation, angiogenesis and transcription. HER deregulation is found in epithelial, mesenchymal and nervous neoplasms and is associated with poor prognosis and tumor severity. Since HER are promiscuous proteins when subjected to mutations, resultant modifications confer cellular metabolic superiority and activate complex, interconnected and overlapping networks of cytoplasmic signaling. Moreover, overexpression of HER1/2 is involved in tumor resistance to radiation and anti-hormone therapies. Indeed, HER2 expression is up to 100-fold higher in 25-30% of invasive breast cancers. These characteristics support the development of resistance to anti-HER1/2 chemotherapy such as monoclonal antibodies and tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Then, the challenges in research with HER-positive cancers include planning therapeutic strategies against known resistance mechanisms and identifying novel mechanisms as a way to overcome and control cell growth and malignant progression. <![CDATA[Potential nutritional and antioxidant activity of various solvent extracts from leaves and stem bark of <strong><em>Anisophyllea laurina</em></strong> R. Br ex Sabine used in folk medicine]]> ABSTRACT Anisophyllea laurina is a plant that has been used in folk medicine to treat malaria, dysentery, diabetes, toothache and various skin diseases. Leaves extract had protein content of 9.68% and a high calcium content of 25084.317 mg/100 g while stem bark extract was found to contain greater amounts of calcium (8560.96 mg/100 g), potassium (7649.47 mg/100 g), magnesium (1462.49 mg/100 g) and iron (973.33 mg/100 g). Palmitic acid, linolenic acid, linoleic acid and oleic acid were the most abundant fatty acids in leaves and stem bark extracts. Furthermore, total phenolic (2382.39 mg GAE /100 g) and total flavonoid (385.79 mg QE/100 g) contents were abundant in stem bark while leaves extract was rich in total tannin content (3466.63 mg CE/100 g). However, both leaves and stem bark contained great amounts of vitamins and amino acids were a good source of antioxidant activities. For the individual polyphenol, stenophyllanin A (45.87 mg/g), casuarinin (24.55 mg/g) and digalloyl-HHDP-glucopyranose isomer (15.63 mg/g) were found to be the major compounds from the leaves whereas procyanidin tetramer (14.89 mg/g, (-)-Epicatechin (12.18 mg/g) and procyanidin trimer (11.25 mg/g) were the most predominant compounds from the stem bark. Additionally, the results revealed a significant and strong correlation between phenolic compounds and antioxidant activities. <![CDATA[Solubility evaluation of didanosine: a comparison between the equilibrium method and intrinsic dissolution for biopharmaceutics classification purposes]]> ABSTRACT BCS (Biopharmaceutics Classification System) and BDDCS (Biopharmaceutics Drug Disposition Classification System) were proposed as tools for classifying drugs into four categories. Both systems consider the solubility as an important characteristic for the classification of compounds in drug development and in vivo disposition prediction. Although some results of drug solubility can be found in the literature, the aforementioned characteristic is not entirely clear when considering didanosine (ddI). Based on that, the solubility of ddI was evaluated using equilibrium and intrinsic dissolution methods. For the equilibrium method, excess amount of ddI was added to each media until obtaining a supersaturated solution and the mixture was submitted to agitation at 37 °C. For the intrinsic dissolution method, the drug was compressed into the Wood's apparatus matrix and subjected to dissolution in each media with agitation at 37 °C. The results obtained from the equilibrium method indicated that it was necessary 139.37 mL of pH 1.2 media, 87.72 mL of pH 4.5 media, 12.54 mL of pH 6.8 media, 5.03 mL of pH 7.5 media and 7.65 mL of purified water for drug solubilization. Furthermore, a very fast intrinsic dissolution rate (IDR) was obtained for each media: 0.1 mg/min/cm² (pH 1.2), 0.2 mg/min/cm² (pH 4.5), 0.2 mg/min/cm² (pH 6.8), 0.1 mg/min/cm² (pH 7.5) and 0.1 mg/min/cm² (purified water). Based on these results, ddI can be considered as a highly soluble drug for both equilibrium and intrinsic dissolution methods. <![CDATA[Metabolic analysis of the effect of rheum on a taurocholate-induced acute pancreatitis rat model]]> ABSTRACT The effects of rheum on serum parameters in a taurocholate-induced acute pancreatitis (AP) rat model were investigated using pathological and biochemical tests, and a proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR)-based metabonomic strategy. Healthy rats and rats with AP were either treated with rheum (7.5% at a dose of 1.5 g/kg) or left untreated. Serum samples were collected from the AP and rheum-treated groups at 6, 12, and 24 h after treatment. The effect of rheum on pathological changes in the pancreatic was investigated to validate the AP model. We obtained 1H NMR spectra and analyzed the results using the partial least squares discriminant method. The results of the pathological and metabolic analyses revealed an amelioration of multiple metabolic abnormalities and an increase in the aerobic respiration ratio after treatment, compared with the AP groups. These results were attributed to improvements in energy supply and the elimination of metabolic products. The study also promoted NMR-based metabonomic analysis as a feasible method of assessing traditional Chinese drugs.