Erlotinib (ERL), the anticancer drug of poor bioavailability, was quantified in terms of bio-relevant physicochemical parameters, such as acid–base properties, lipophilicity and solubility, and a comprehensive study on its inclusion complexation was carried out. The protonation constant of ERL (log K = 5.32) indicates that it exists mainly in deprotonated form at the pH of blood plasma. The high lipophilicity (log p = 2.75) explains its good permeability, while the very low solubility (S0 = 12.46 μM) causes its low bioavailability and renders injection formulation a difficult job. This problem could be alleviated by enhancing ERL solubility through cyclodextrin (CD) inclusion complexation. Therefore, ERL–CD interactions were studied by a number of analytical techniques. The apparent stability constants of ERL with seven different CDs were determined using affinity capillary electrophoresis. Results indicated that the seven-membered β-CD and its derivatives were the most suitable hosts. Using UV Job plot titration 1:1 stoichiometry was determined, confirmed by electrospray ionisation-mass spectrometry experiments. The geometry of the inclusion complex was investigated by 2D ROESY NMR techniques, revealing that the ethynylphenyl ring enters the β-CD cavity. Phase-solubility analysis shows greatly enhanced solution concentration by CD complexation. The determined equilibrium and structural information offer molecular basis to elaborate improved drug formulation with enhanced bioavailability.
- inclusion complex
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