Characterization, in Vivo Evaluation, and Molecular Modeling of Different Propofol–Cyclodextrin Complexes To Assess Their Drug Delivery Potential at the Blood–Brain Barrier Level

In this study, we investigated the ability of the general anesthetic propofol (PR) to form inclusion complexes with modified β-cyclodextrins, including sulfobutylether-β-cyclodextrin (SBEβCD) and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPβCD). The PR/SBEβCD and PR/HPβCD complexes were prepared and characterized, and the blood–brain barrier (BBB) permeation potential of the formulated PR was examined in vivo for the purpose of controlled drug delivery. The PR/SBEβCD complex was found to be more stable in solution with a minimal degradation constant of 0.25 h–1, a t1/2 of 2.82 h, and a Kc of 5.19 × 103 M–1 and revealed higher BBB permeability rates compared with the reference substance (PR-LIPURO) considering the calculated brain-to-blood concentration ratio (logBB) values. Additionally, the diminished PR binding affinity to SBEβCD was confirmed in molecular dynamics simulations by a maximal Gibbs free energy of binding (ΔGbind = −18.44 kcal·mol–1), indicating the more rapid PR/SBEβCD dissociation. Overall, the results demonstrated that SBEβCD has the potential to be used as a prospective candidate for drug delivery vector development to improve the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of general anesthetic agents at the BBB level.