Enzyme Responsive Vaginal Microbicide Gels Containing Maraviroc and Tenofovir Microspheres Designed for Acid Phosphatase-Triggered Release for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis of HIV-1: A Comparative Analysis of a Bigel and Thermosensitive Gel
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The challenges encountered with conventional microbicide gels has necessitated the quest for alternative options. This study aimed to formulate and evaluate a bigel and thermosensitive gel, designed to combat the challenges of leakage and short-residence time in the vagina. Ionic-gelation technique was used to formulate maraviroc and tenofovir microspheres. The microspheres were incorporated into a thermosensitive gel and bigel, then evaluated. Enzyme degradation assay was used to assess the effect of the acid phosphatase enzyme on the release profile of maraviroc and tenofovir microspheres. HIV efficacy and cytotoxicity of the microspheres were assessed using HIV-1-BaL virus strain and HeLa cell lines, respectively. Maraviroc and tenofovir release kinetics followed zero-order and Higuchi model kinetics. However, under the influence of the enzyme, maraviroc release was governed by first-order model, while tenofovir followed a super case II transport-mechanism. The altered mode of release and drug transport mechanism suggests a triggered release. The assay of the microspheres suspension on the HeLa cells did not show signs of cytotoxicity. The thermosensitive gel and bigel elicited a progressive decline in HIV infectivity, until at concentrations of 1 μg/mL and 0.1 μg/mL, respectively. The candidate vaginal gels have the potential for a triggered release by the acid phosphatase enzyme present in the seminal fluid, thus, serving as a strategic point to prevent HIV transmission.
HIV prevention; pre-exposure prophylaxis; HIV/AIDS; vaginal gels microbicides; acid phosphatase; microparticles
1. Ekama, S.O.; Ilomuanya, M.O.; Azubuike, C.P.; Ayorinde, J.B.; Ezechi, O.C.; Igwilo, C.I.; Salako, B.L. Enzyme Responsive Vaginal Microbicide Gels Containing Maraviroc and Tenofovir Microspheres Designed for Acid Phosphatase-Triggered Release for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis of HIV-1: A Comparative Analysis of a Bigel and Thermosensitive Gel. Gels 2022, 8, 15. https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8010015