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Oral bioavailability of silymarin formulated as a novel 3-day delivery systembased on porous silica nanoparticles

Cao X, Fu M, Wang L, Liu H, Deng W, Qu R, et al. Oral bioavailability of silymarin formulated as a novel 3-day delivery system based on porous silica nanoparticles. Acta Biomaterialia 2012;8:2104–12.

The purpose of this study was to develop porous silica nanoparticles (PSNs) as a carrier to improve oral bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs, using silymarin as a model. PSNs were synthesized by reverse microemulsion and ultrasonic corrosion methods. A 3-day release formulation consisting of a silymarin solid dispersion, a hydrophilic gel matrix and silymarin-loaded PSNs was prepared. In vitro release studies indicated that both the silymarin-loaded PSNs and the3-day release formulation showed a typical sustained-release pattern over a long period, about 72 h. The in vivo studies revealed that the 3-day release formulation gave a significantly higher plasma concentration and larger area under the concentration-time curves than commercial tablets when orally administered to beagle dogs. This implies that the prepared 3-day release formulation significantly enhanced the oral bioavailability of silymarin, suggesting that PSNs can be used as promising drug carriers for oral sustained release systems. Thus providing a technically feasible approach for improving the oral bioavailability and long-term efficacy of poorly soluble drugs.