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.
- D-α-tocopherol polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate
- Methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(lactide)