Drugs pertaining to Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS) classes II and IV have limitations in their delivery, including in the lung. Therefore, drug delivery carriers have been proposed to improve the therapeutic effectiveness of such drugs. This work proposes lipid nanocapsules (LNC) as a potential platform for lung drug delivery. Locust bean gum (LBG), which is a galactomannan, was used as polymeric shell, protecting the oily core of the nanocapsules and providing their surface with hydrophilic character. Due to the neutral character of LBG, in order to enable nanocapsule formation, a sulphate derivative (LBGS) was prepared, which was confirmed by Fourier-transformed infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The electrostatic interaction between the negatively charged sulphate groups of LBGS and the positively charged groups of the used cationic lipid (1,2-dioleoyloxy-3-trimethylammoniumpropanchloride, DOTAP), allowed the formation of monodisperse nanocapsules, with sizes around 200 nm and strongly negative zeta potentials, between -70 and -85 mV. Envisaging potential lung drug delivery, the LBGS-coated LNC were co-formulated with mannitol using spray-drying, producing microencapsulated nanocapsules. Feret’s diameter was determined to be 2.6 ± 1.8 µm and 3.1 ± 1.9 µm for Man (control) and Man/LNC microparticles, respectively. Further studies are underway in order to optimise both the nanoplatform and the dry powder formulation.
Sulphated LBG-coated lipid nanocapsules are a potential approach on the nanoencapsulation of hydrophobic drugs, which can be microencapsulated to provide inhalable products.