Abstract: Methotrexate, which is widely used in the treatment of cancer and immune-related diseases, has limitations in use because of its low bioavailability, short half-life, and tissue toxicity. Thus, in this study, a nano-sized water-in-oil-in-water (W/O/W) double emulsion containing methotrexate was prepared to enhance its lymphatic delivery and bioavailability. Based on the results from solubility testing and a pseudo-ternary diagram study, olive oil as the oil, Labrasol as a surfactant, and ethanol as a co-surfactant, were selected as the optimal components for the nanoemulsion. The prepared nanoemulsion was evaluated for size, zeta potential, encapsulation efficiency, pH, morphology, and in vitro release profiles. Furthermore, pharmacokinetics and lymphatic targeting efficiency were assessed after oral and intravenous administration of methotrexate-loaded nanoemulsion to rats. Mean droplet size, zeta potential, encapsulation efficiency, and pH of formulated nanoemulsion were 173.77 ± 5.76 nm, -35.63 ± 0.78 mV, 90.37 ± 0.96%, and 4.07 ± 0.03, respectively. In vitro release profile of the formulation indicated a higher dissolution and faster rate of methotrexate than that of free drug. The prepared nanoemulsion showed significant increases in maximum plasma concentration, area under the plasma concentration-time curve, half-life, oral bioavailability, and lymphatic targeting efficiency in both oral and intravenous administration. Therefore, our research proposes a methotrexate-loaded nanoemulsion as a good candidate for enhancing targeted lymphatic delivery of methotrexate.
... read more