Evaluation in vitro and in vivo of curcumin-loaded mPEG-PLA/TPGS mixed micelles for oral administration

Yuwei Duan, Baomei Zhang, Lianjun Chu, Henry H.Y. Tong, Weidong Liu, Guangxi Zhai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this work is to prepare and characterize curcumin-loaded methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(lactide) (mPEG-PLA)/D-α-tocopherol polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (TPGS) mixed micelles (CUR-MPP-TPGS-MMs), analyze the influence of formulation on enhancing the solubility of curcumin in water, and evaluate the improvement of intestinal absorption after oral administration. CUR-MPP-TPGS-MMs were prepared using the thin film diffusion method and optimized with the uniform design. The optimal CUR-MPP-TPGS-MMs were provided with high drug-loading (16.1%), small size (46.0 nm) and spherical shape. Low critical micelle concentration (CMC) and superior dilution stability showed that CUR-MPP-TPGS-MMs could keep integrity during the dilution of gastrointestinal fluid. In vitro drug release study indicated a sustained release of curcumin from CUR-MPP-TPGS-MMs in simulated gastrointestinal solution. The absorption mechanism of passive diffusion was obtained by measuring in situ intestinal absorption of CUR-MPP-TPGS-MMs in rats, and the best absorption segment was found to be the duodenum. The pharmacokinetics was evaluated in rats at the dose of 75 mg/kg by intragastric administration. The Cmax and mean retention time (MRT0-24) for CUR-MPP-TPGS-MMs were both increased, and the relative bioavailability of micelle formulation to curcumin suspension was 927.3%. These results suggested that mPEG-PLA/TPGS mixed micelle system (MPP-TPGS-MMs) showed great potential in improving oral bioavailability of curcumin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-354
Number of pages10
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Curcumin
  • D-α-tocopherol polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate
  • Methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(lactide)
  • Micelle


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