Rapid Microfluidic Preparation of Niosomes for Targeted Drug Delivery
Niosomes are non-ionic surfactant-based vesicles with high promise for drug delivery applications. They can be rapidly prepared via microfluidics, allowing their reproducible production without the need of a subsequent size reduction step, by controlled mixing of two miscible phases of an organic (lipids dissolved in alcohol) and an aqueous solution in a microchannel. The control of niosome properties and the implementation of more complex functions, however, thus far are largely unknown for this method. Here we investigate microfluidics-based manufacturing of topotecan (TPT)-loaded polyethylene glycolated niosomes (PEGNIO). The flow rate ratio of the organic and aqueous phases was varied and optimized. Furthermore, the surface of TPT-loaded PEGNIO was modified with a tumor homing and penetrating peptide (tLyp-1). The designed nanoparticular drug delivery system composed of PEGNIO-TPT-tLyp-1 was fabricated for the first time via microfluidics in this study. The physicochemical properties were determined through dynamic light scattering (DLS) and zeta potential analysis. In vitro studies of the obtained formulations were performed on human glioblastoma (U87) cells. The results clearly indicated that tLyp-1-functionalized TPT-loaded niosomes could significantly improve anti-glioma treatment.