The main aim of the investigation was to explore a novel L-lactide-depsipeptide copolymer for the development of rivastigmine-loaded polymeric nanoparticles. L-lactide-depsipeptide synthesis was based on the ring opening polymerization reaction of L-lactide with the cyclodepsipeptide, cyclo(Glc-Leu), using tin 2-ethyl hexanoate as an initiator. Rivastigmine-loaded nanoparticles were prepared by the single emulsion-solvent evaporation technique. The influence of various critical formulation variables like sonication time, amount of polymer, amount of drug, stabilizer concentration, drug-to-polymer ratio, and organic-to-aqueous phase ratio on particle size and entrapment efficiency was studied. The optimized formulation having a particle size of 142.2 ± 21.3 nm with an entrapment efficiency of 60.72 ± 3.72% was obtained. Increased rivastigmine entrapment within the polymer matrix was obtained with a relatively low organic-to-aqueous phase ratio and high drug-to-polymer ratio. A decrease in the average size of the nanoparticles was observed with a decrease in the amount of polymer added and an increase in the sonication time. Prolonged sonication time, however, decreased rivastigmine entrapment. From the different lyoprotectant tested, only trehalose was found to prevent nanoparticle aggregation upon application of the freeze-thaw cycle. Drug incorporation into the polymeric matrix was confirmed by the DSC and XRD study. The spherical nature of the nanoparticles was confirmed by the SEM study. The in vitro drug release study showed the sustained release of more than 90% of the drug up to 72 h. Thus, L-lactide-depsipeptide can be used as an efficient carrier for the nanoparticle preparation of rivastigmine.

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