Employment of mesoporous silica nanostructures (MSNs) in the drug delivery field has shown a significant potential for improving the oral delivery of active pharmaceutical products with low solubility in water. Mirtazapine (MRT) is a tetracyclic antidepressant with poor water solubility (BCS Class II), which was recently approved as a potent drug used to treat severe depression. The principle of this research is to optimize the incorporation of Mirtazapine into MSNs to improve its aqueous solubility, loading efficiency, release performance, and subsequent bioavailability. The formulation was optimized by using of Box-Behnken Design, which allows simultaneous estimation of the impact of different types of silica (SBA-15, MCM-41, and Aluminate-MCM-41), a different drug to silica ratios (33.33%, 49.99%, and 66.66%), and different drug loading procedures (Incipient wetness, solvent evaporation, and solvent impregnation) on the MRT loading efficiency, aqueous solubility and dissolution rate. The optimized formula was achieved by loading MRT into SBA-15 at 33.33% drug ratio prepared by the incipient wetness method, which displayed a loading efficiency of 104.05%, water solubility of 0.2 mg/ml, and 100% dissolution rate after 30 min. The pharmacokinetic profile of the optimized formula was obtained by conducting the in-vivo study in rabbits which showed a marked improvement (2.14-fold) in oral bioavailability greater than plain MRT. The physicochemical parameters and morphology of the optimized formula were characterized by; gas adsorption manometry, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), polarized light microscopy (PLM), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD).
Mirtazapine; box-behnken design; in-vivo study; mesoporous silica nanostructures; oral bioavailability.