In this study, self-assembling Soluplus® micelles were examined for inherent properties. Through calorimetric analysis, the critical micelle concentration (CMC) could be determined at 25 and 37 °C, and the influence of three media (Milli-Q water, phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) with a pH of 7.4 and 0.1 M HCl) on the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) was detected. Furthermore, the solubilisation of a poorly soluble drug, furosemide, into the Soluplus® micelles was studied. The concentration-dependent properties of the micellar system were assessed through an examination of the micellar size, polydispersity, morphology, viscosity and solubilising properties, which were all found to be affected by the concentration, but temperature, pH and the composition of the test medium were also found to have an effect. Homogeneity in the estimated micellar size and morphology was shown for monophasic micelle dispersions in lower concentrations and with a shift towards more complex structures or aggregates in higher concentrations. The micelles were further investigated in terms of drug release and biocompatibility with mucus-producing HT29-MTX cells, where no biocompatibility issues were found. In this research, the implications for oral drug delivery are discussed and valuable preformulation information is provided on the micellar properties of a Soluplus® drug system in a liquid or semi-solid form.
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