Vulvovaginal candidiasis is a vaginal infection caused by the fungal pathogen Candida albicans that, most commonly, affects women of reproductive age. Its first-line treatment consists in topical applications of conventional drug formulations (e.g., creams, gels, tablets) containing imidazole drugs. The treatment involves single or multiple daily applications and, in the case of recurrences, daily administration of oral antifungal drugs for up to one month. Intravaginal rings are flexible, biocompatible medical devices that, compared to conventional drug formulations, offer the possibility of a controlled vaginal drug delivery over a determined period with a single application, thus increasing patient compliance. Among innovative manufacturing techniques, in recent years, fused deposition modeling 3D printing has emerged in the pharmaceutical field to produce different therapeutics combining drugs and polymers. This technique allows to print objects layer by layer with many different thermoplastic materials after a computer-assisted design. Thermoplastic polyurethanes are flexible and biocompatible materials that can be efficiently employed for the manufacturing of drug release systems, already utilized to prepare vaginal devices. In this work, we produced a clotrimazole-loaded intravaginal ring by fused deposition modeling 3D printing combining the drug with thermoplastic polyurethane using hot melt extrusion. The rings were computer-designed and then printed with two different drug concentrations (i.e., 2% and 10% w/w). The intravaginal rings were first tested in an agar-diffusion test to evaluate their effectiveness against C. albicans; and the 10% loaded ring was selected for further studies. Drug release was evaluated in two different media (i.e., 50% ethanol and vaginal fluid simulant) showing a sustained release over a period of seven days. Next, in vitro time-kill analysis against C. albicans in simulated vaginal fluid was performed and displayed a complete growth inhibition after 5 days, compared to the control. These results suggest a potential application of these 3D printed intravaginal rings for the treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis and for the long-time treatment of recurrences.

3D printed clotrimazole intravaginal ring for the treatment of recurrent vaginal candidiasis

Tiboni, Mattia;Campana, Raffaella;Frangipani, Emanuela;Casettari, Luca
2021

Abstract

Vulvovaginal candidiasis is a vaginal infection caused by the fungal pathogen Candida albicans that, most commonly, affects women of reproductive age. Its first-line treatment consists in topical applications of conventional drug formulations (e.g., creams, gels, tablets) containing imidazole drugs. The treatment involves single or multiple daily applications and, in the case of recurrences, daily administration of oral antifungal drugs for up to one month. Intravaginal rings are flexible, biocompatible medical devices that, compared to conventional drug formulations, offer the possibility of a controlled vaginal drug delivery over a determined period with a single application, thus increasing patient compliance. Among innovative manufacturing techniques, in recent years, fused deposition modeling 3D printing has emerged in the pharmaceutical field to produce different therapeutics combining drugs and polymers. This technique allows to print objects layer by layer with many different thermoplastic materials after a computer-assisted design. Thermoplastic polyurethanes are flexible and biocompatible materials that can be efficiently employed for the manufacturing of drug release systems, already utilized to prepare vaginal devices. In this work, we produced a clotrimazole-loaded intravaginal ring by fused deposition modeling 3D printing combining the drug with thermoplastic polyurethane using hot melt extrusion. The rings were computer-designed and then printed with two different drug concentrations (i.e., 2% and 10% w/w). The intravaginal rings were first tested in an agar-diffusion test to evaluate their effectiveness against C. albicans; and the 10% loaded ring was selected for further studies. Drug release was evaluated in two different media (i.e., 50% ethanol and vaginal fluid simulant) showing a sustained release over a period of seven days. Next, in vitro time-kill analysis against C. albicans in simulated vaginal fluid was performed and displayed a complete growth inhibition after 5 days, compared to the control. These results suggest a potential application of these 3D printed intravaginal rings for the treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis and for the long-time treatment of recurrences.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2682583
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