2005 Volume 53 Issue 3 Pages 301-304
Factors affecting the storage stability of lyophilized cationic liposomes were investigated using liposomes prepared with various excipients and by different freezing rates, either quick freezing (freezing by immersion into liquid nitrogen) or slow freezing (cooling to −50 °C at a rate of −10 °C/h). Increases in the particle size of cationic liposomes observed during freeze-drying were inhibited by the addition of sucrose, trehalose and sucrose–dextran mixtures (1 : 1 and 2 : 1 by weight). The storage instability of the formulations, as indicated by changes in particle size, was affected by their glass transition temperature (Tg). Addition of high-Tg excipients resulted in smaller increases in the particle size, indicating improvement of storage stability. The storage stability of cationic liposome formulations was also affected by freezing rate. Formulations prepared by slow freezing exhibited better stability. Longer shear relaxation times were observed for formulations prepared by slow freezing compared with those prepared by quick freezing. This indicates that formulations prepared by slow freezing have a lower matrix mobility, which may result in better storage stability. Tg or 1H-NMR relaxation measurements could not detect differences in matrix mobility between formulations prepared by different freezing rates. Shear relaxation measurements seem to be a useful method for evaluating the storage stability of cationic liposome formulations.