Introduction: Long-term stability of therapeutic candidates is necessary toward their clinical applications. For most nanoparticle systems formulated in aqueous solutions, lyophilization or freeze-drying is a common method to ensure long-term stability. While lyophilization of lipid, polymeric, or inorganic nanoparticles have been studied, little has been reported on lyophilization and stability of hybrid nanoparticle systems, consisting of polymers, inorganic particles, and antibody. Lyophilization of complex nanoparticle systems can be challenging with respect to preserving physicochemical properties and the biological activities of the materials. We recently reported an effective small-interfering RNA (siRNA) nanoparticle carrier consisting of 50-nm mesoporous silica nanoparticles decorated with a copolymer of polyethylenimine and polyethyleneglycol, and antibody.
Materials and methods: Toward future personalized medicine, the nanoparticle carriers were lyophilized alone and loaded with siRNA upon reconstitution by a few minutes of simple mixing in phosphate-buffered saline. Herein, we optimize the lyophilization of the nanoparticles in terms of buffers, lyoprotectants, reconstitution, and time and temperature of freezing and drying steps, and monitor the physical and chemical properties (reconstitution, hydrodynamic size, charge, and siRNA loading) and biological activities (gene silencing, cancer cell killing) of the materials after storing at various temperatures and times.
Results: The material was best formulated in Tris-HCl buffer with 5% w/w trehalose. Freezing step was performed at -55°C for 3 h, followed by a primary drying step at -40°C (100 µBar) for 24 h and a secondary drying step at 20°C (20 µBar) for 12 h. The lyophilized material can be stored stably for 2 months at 4°C and at least 6 months at -20°C.
Conclusion: We successfully developed the lyophilization process that should be applicable to other similar nanoparticle systems consisting of inorganic nanoparticle cores modified with cationic polymers, PEG, and antibodies.
- mesoporous silica
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Drug Discovery
- Organic Chemistry