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A Diffusion-Based and Dynamic 3D-Printed Device That Enables Parallel in Vitro Pharmacokinetic Profiling of Molecules

Lockwood, Sarah Y., Meisel, Jayda E., Monsma, Frederick J., Spence, Dana M.
Analytical chemistry 2016 v.88 no.3 pp. 1864-1870
animal models, drugs, excretion, fluorescein, half life, levofloxacin, markets, pharmacokinetics
The process of bringing a drug to market involves many steps, including the preclinical stage, where various properties of the drug candidate molecule are determined. These properties, which include drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion, are often displayed in a pharmacokinetic (PK) profile. While PK profiles are determined in animal models, in vitro systems that model in vivo processes are available, although each possesses shortcomings. Here, we present a 3D-printed, diffusion-based, and dynamic in vitro PK device. The device contains six flow channels, each with integrated porous membrane-based insert wells. The pores of these membranes enable drugs to freely diffuse back and forth between the flow channels and the inserts, thus enabling both loading and clearance portions of a standard PK curve to be generated. The device is designed to work with 96-well plate technology and consumes single-digit milliliter volumes to generate multiple PK profiles, simultaneously. Generation of PK profiles by use of the device was initially performed with fluorescein as a test molecule. Effects of such parameters as flow rate, loading time, volume in the insert well, and initial concentration of the test molecule were investigated. A prediction model was generated from this data, enabling the user to predict the concentration of the test molecule at any point along the PK profile within a coefficient of variation of ∼5%. Depletion of the analyte from the well was characterized and was determined to follow first-order rate kinetics, indicated by statistically equivalent (p > 0.05) depletion half-lives that were independent of the starting concentration. A PK curve for an approved antibiotic, levofloxacin, was generated to show utility beyond the fluorescein test molecule.