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Computational Models of the Intestinal Environment. 3. The Impact of Cholesterol Content and pH on Mixed Micelle Colloids

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posted on 05.10.2017, 00:00 authored by Estelle J. A. Suys, Dallas B. Warren, Christopher J. H. Porter, Hassan Benameur, Colin W. Pouton, David K. Chalmers
In this study, we use molecular dynamics (MD) and experimental techniques (nephelometry and dynamic light scattering) to investigate the influence of cholesterol content and pH on the colloidal structures that form in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract upon lipid digestion. We demonstrate that the ionization state of the molecular species is a primary driver for the self-assembly of aggregates formed by model bile and therefore should be considered when performing in silico modeling of colloidal drug delivery systems. Additionally, the incorporation of physiological concentrations of cholesterol within the model systems does not affect size, number, shape, or dynamics of the aggregates to a significant degree. The MD data shows a reduction in aggregate size with increasing pH, a preference for glycodeoxycholate (GDX) to occupy the aggregate surface, and that the mixed micellar aggregates are oblate spheroids (disc-like). The results obtained assist in understanding the process by which pH and cholesterol influence self-assembly of mixed micelles within the GI tract. The MD approach provides a platform for investigation of interactions of drugs and formulation excipients with the endogenous contents of the GI tract.