Rapid Recovery of Clofazimine-Loaded Nanoparticles with Long-Term Storage Stability as Anti-Cryptosporidium Therapy

Jie Feng, Yingyue Zhang, Simon A. McManus, Kurt D. Ristroph, Hoang D. Lu, Kai Gong, Claire E. White, Robert K. Prud'Homme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


While the formulation of nanoparticle (NP) suspensions has been widely applied in materials and life science, the recovery of NPs from such a suspension into a solid state is practically important to confer long-term storage stability. However, solidification, while preserving the original nanoscale properties, remains a formidable challenge in the pharmaceutical and biomedical applications of NPs. Herein we combined flash nanoprecipitation (FNP) and spray-drying as a nanofabrication platform for NP formulation and recovery without compromising the dissolution kinetics of the active ingredient. Clofazimine was chosen to be the representative drug, which has been recently repurposed as a potential treatment for cryptosporidiosis. Clofazimine was encapsulated in NPs with low-cost surface coatings, hypromellose acetate succinate (HPMCAS) and lecithin, which were required by the ultimate application to global health. Spray-drying and lyophilization were utilized to produce dried powders with good long-term storage stability for application in hot and humid climatic zones. The particle morphology, yield efficiency, drug loading, and clofazimine crystallinity in the spray-dried powders were characterized. The in vitro release kinetics of spray-dried NP powders were compared to analogous dissolution profiles from standard lyophilized NP samples, crystalline clofazimine powder, and the commercially available formulation Lamprene. The spray-dried powders showed a supersaturation level of up to 60 times the equilibrium solubility and remarkably improved dissolution rates. In addition, the spray-dried powders with both surface coatings showed excellent stability during aging studies with elevated temperature and humidity, in view of the dissolution and release in vitro. Considering oral delivery for pediatric administration, the spray-dried powders show less staining effects with simulated skin than crystalline clofazimine and may be made into minitablets without additional excipients. These results highlight the potential of combining FNP and spray-drying as a feasible and versatile platform to design and rapidly recover amorphous NPs in a solid dosage form, with the advantages of satisfactory long-term storage stability, low cost, and easy scalability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2184-2194
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 25 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


  • clofazimine
  • flash nanoprecipitation
  • hypromellose acetate succinate
  • lecithin
  • nanoparticles
  • spray-drying
  • storage stability


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