Design and development of (tamoxifen and curcumin) containing nano capsules using κ-carrageenan/gelatin/gum acacia system
Tamoxifen and curcumin are drugs which have anti-cancer properties. However, they suffer from low bioavailability, poor solubility and (especially in the case of curcumin) issues with stability. To overcome these limitations, it is hypothesised that a nano-capsule can be developed to contain the active ingredients. Other advantages of encapsulating the ingredients together include the potential for curcumin to lower the toxicity of tamoxifen, and other synergistic effects may become apparent. The technique chosen was complex coacervation, using three polymers, namely gum acacia, gelatin and κ-carrageenan. The formulation was tested against a blank formulation without the active ingredients by means of optical microscopy to show the particle shape and size and the formation of capsule walls, and loading efficiency was indicated by HPLC testing. Particle size was tested using a Mastersizer, as was Zeta potential using a Zetasizer Nano S. The results showed that encapsulating walls had fully formed, that particle shapes varied, and the size was under 50µm for both formulations at D10% and D50%. The zeta potential was -18.67 for the blank formulation and -14.89 for the formulation containing the active ingredients. For curcumin, the loading efficiency was 105.15% and for tamoxifen only 9.17%. The hypothesis was not supported, as the nanoencapsulation was not achieved; however, microencapsulation was performed, and coacervation was identified as a useful and appropriate technique. However, further tests need to be conducted with regard to reducing the size of the capsules, and with regard to the effectiveness, safety and quality of the formulation. Also, experiments to test the effects of the variables would also potentially offer an improved encapsulation. The loading efficiency and encapsulating efficiency, of both tamoxifen and curcumin, should be given particular attention.