Mônica V. Nova, Marise de C. Pires Gonçalves, Ana Cláudia Nogueira, Leandro S. Herculano, Antonio Neto Medina, Roberto B. Bazotte e Marcos L. Bruschi

Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy – Volume: 40; Issue: 10; Pages 1308-1317; DOI: 10.3109/03639045.2013.817417

Context: The l-alanyl-l-glutamine peptide (AGP) has been effective to promote acute glycemia recovery during long-term insulin-induced hypoglycemia (IIH), and the oral administration of AGP is suggested to prevent prolonged hypoglycemia, such as nocturnal hypoglycemia.

Objective: Considering the ability of AGP on glycemia recovery and AGP’s fast metabolism, the aim of current study was to obtain and characterize ethylcellulose microparticles to deliver the drug for a prolonged time.

Materials and Methods: Microparticles were prepared by simple and double emulsification/hardening method and characterized by scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetry (TG), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) and FT-Raman spectroscopy and in vitro release.

Results and Discussion: Spherical structures with a mean diameter between 9.30 µm and 13.19 µm were formed. TG analysis showed that the thermal stability of AGP was even more increased by encapsulation with ethylcellulose. In addition, TG, DSC, FTIR and FT-Raman analyses proved that AGP was encapsulated in a molecular way. Higher values of encapsulation efficiency were observed for the microparticles prepared by double emulsification (57.83–83.67%) than for those prepared by simple emulsification (18.37%). However, the last ones could release the peptide in a quicker and more extensive manner than those prepared by double emulsification.

Conclusion: For the first time, microparticles containing AGP were developed and exhibited prolonged in vitro release as well as protection to the drug, and it could be considered as a dosage form for patients who suffer from insulin-induced hypoglycemia and/or nocturnal hypoglycemia.