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Lipid nano-vesicles for thyroid hormone encapsulation

Lipid nano-vesicles for thyroid hormone encapsulation: A comparison between different fabrication technologies, drug loading, and an in vitro delivery to human tendon stem/progenitor cells in 2D and 3D culture

Authors: E.P.Lamparellia, M.C.Ciardullia, P.Scalaa, M.Scognamigliob, B.Charliera, P.Di Pietroa, V.Izzoa, C.Vecchioneac, N.Maffullia, G.Della Porta


Phosphatidylcholine (PC) vesicles loaded with Triiodothyronine (T3) were fabricated using different manufacturing methods: thin layer hydration plus sonication (TF-UF), supercritical liposome formation (SC), and microfluidic technology (MF). Vesicles obtained by MF had the lowest mean diameter (88.61 ± 44.48 nm) with a Zeta Potential of −20.1 ± 5.90 mV and loading of 10 mg/g (encapsulation efficiency: 57%). In contrast, SC vesicles showed extremely low encapsulation efficiency (<10%) probably due to T3 solubility in ethanol/carbon dioxide mixture; despite TF-UF vesicles exhibiting good size (167.7 ± 90 nm; Zp −8.50 ± 0.60 mV) and loading (10 mg/g), poor mass recovery was obtained (50% loss). MF vesicles had low cytotoxicity, and they were well enough internalized by both HeLa and human tendon stem/progenitor cells (hTSPCs). Their biological activity was also monitored in both 2D and 3D cultures of hTSPCs supplemented with therapeutical concentrations of PC/T3 nano-liposomes. 2D culture showed almost similar constitutive gene expression compared to control culture supplemented with free-T3. On the contrary, when hTPSCs 3D culture was assembled, it showed a more evident homogeneous distribution of FITC labeled vesicles within the high-density structure and a significant upregulation of cell constitutive genes, such as type I Collagen (4.8-fold; p < 0.0001) at day 7, compared to the control, suggesting that T3/PC formulation has increased T3 cytosolic concentration, thus improving cells metabolic activity. The study supported MF technology for nano-carriers fabrication and opens perspectives on the activity of PC/T3 nano-vesicles as innovative formulations for TPSCs stimulation in ECM secretion.

Fig. Schematic description of different technologies tested.

Selected Figure

Keywords: Nano-vesicles , Liposomes, Drug delivery, T3 hormone, Tendon progenitor stem cells, LNP

International Journal of Pharmaceutics 624, 122007


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