A comprehensive experimental and theoretical screening was performed for identification of curcumin solubilizers. Experimental data led to formulation of a non-linear QSPR model correlating molecular descriptors with measured solubilities. The majority of synthesized binary systems exhibited a moderate enhancement of curcumin solubility, which was found to be the highest in the case of curcumin cocrystallized with pyrogallol. New excipients for curcumin were found by utilization of the model within its applicability domain. It appears that a five-fold rise of curcumin solubility is the upper limit for this kind of formulations what was inferred from the screened 230 thousand compounds. Finally, theoretical analysis was extended on naturally occurring curcumin analogues, including demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin, α-, β- and Ar-turmerones. In all cases, a list of coformers suitable for binary solids preparation with potential enhanced solubility was obtained. They can be treated as first choice lists for further experimental exploration of solubility enhancement of curcumin and its analogues.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.