Celecoxib Nanoformulations with Enhanced Solubility, Dissolution Rate, and Oral Bioavailability: Experimental Approaches over In Vitro/In Vivo Evaluation

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Pharmaceutics, vol.15, no.2, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/pharmaceutics15020363
  • Journal Name: Pharmaceutics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, EMBASE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: celecoxib, dry co-milling, response surface methodology, central composite design, black-box, Bayesian optimization, intrinsic dissolution rate, characterization, pharmacokinetics
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Celecoxib (CXB) is a Biopharmaceutical Classification System (BCS) Class II molecule with high permeability that is practically insoluble in water. Because of the poor water solubility, there is a wide range of absorption and limited bioavailability following oral administration. These unfavorable properties can be improved using dry co-milling technology, which is an industrial applicable technology. The purpose of this study was to develop and optimize CXB nanoformulations prepared by dry co-milling technology, with a quality by design approach to maintain enhanced solubility, dissolution rate, and oral bioavailability. The resulting co-milled CXB composition using povidone (PVP), mannitol (MAN) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) showed the maximum solubility and dissolution rate in physiologically relevant media. Potential risk factors were determined with an Ishikawa diagram, important risk factors were selected with Plackett-Burman experimental design, and CXB compositions were optimized with Central Composite design (CCD) and Bayesian optimization (BO). Physical characterization, intrinsic dissolution rate, solubility, and stability experiments were used to evaluate the optimized co-milled CXB compositions. Dissolution and permeability studies were carried out for the resulting CXB nanoformulation. Oral pharmacokinetic studies of the CXB nanoformulation and reference product were performed in rats. The results of in vitro and in vivo studies show that the CXB nanoformulations have enhanced solubility (over 4.8-fold (8.6 ± 1.06 µg/mL vs. 1.8 ± 0.33 µg/mL) in water when compared with celecoxib pure powder), and dissolution rate (at least 85% of celecoxib is dissolved in 20 min), and improved oral pharmacokinetic profile (the relative bioavailability was 145.2%, compared to that of Celebrex®, and faster tmax 3.80 ± 2.28 h vs. 6.00 ± 3.67 h, indicating a more rapid absorption rate).