Complexation of novel thiomers and insulin to protect against in vitro enzymatic degradation: towards oral insulin delivery.
Ibie, Chidinma O.
Knott, Rachel M.
Thompson, Colin J.
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IBIE, C.O., KNOTT, R.M. and THOMPSON, C.J. 2018. Complexation of novel thiomers and insulin to protect against in vitro enzymatic degradation: towards oral insulin delivery. Drug developement and industrial pharmacy [online], Latest Articles. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1080/03639045.2018.1517776
A significant barrier to oral insulin delivery is its enzymatic degradation in the gut. Nano-sized polymer-insulin polyelectrolyte complexes (PECS) have been developed to protect insulin against enzymatic degradation. Poly(allylamine) (Paa) was trimethylated to yield QPaa. Thiolation of Paa and QPaa was achieved by attaching either N-acetylcysteine (NAC), or thiobutylamidine (TBA) ligands (Paa-NAC/QPaa-NAC and Paa-TBA/QPaa-TBA thiomers). PEC formulations were prepared in Tris buffer (pH 7.4) at various polymer:insulin mass ratios (0.2:1-2:1). PECS were characterised by %transmittance of light and photon correlation spectroscopy. Insulin complexation efficiency and enzyme-protective effect of these complexes was determined by HPLC. Complexation with insulin was found to be optimal at mass ratios of 0.4-1:1 for all polymers. PECS in this mass range were positively-charged (20-40 mV), nanoparticles (50-200 nm), with high insulin complexation efficiency (> 90 %). Complexation with TBA polymers appeared to result in disulphide bridge formation between the polymers and insulin. In vitro enzymatic degradation assays of QPaa, Paa-NAC, and QPaa-NAC PECS showed that they all offered some protection against insulin degradation by trypsin and α-chymotrypsin, but not from pepsin. QPaa-NAC complexes with insulin are the most promising formulation for future work, given their ability to offer protection against intestinal enzymes. This work highlights the importance of optimising polymer structure in the delivery of proteins.