Zinc delivery from non-woven fibres within a therapeutic nipple shield.
A Therapeutic Nipple Shield (TNS) was previously developed to respond to the global need for new infant therapeutic delivery technologies. However, the release efficiency for the same Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) from different therapeutic matrices within the TNS formulation has not yet been investigated. To address this, in-vitro release of elemental zinc into human milk from two types of Texel non-woven fibre mats of varying thickness and different gram per square meter values, placed inside the TNS was explored and compared to the release from zinc-containing rapidly disintegrating tablets. In-vitro delivery was performed by means of a breastfeeding simulation apparatus, with human milk flow rates and suction pressure adjusted to physiologically relevant values, and release was quantified using Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES). It was found that a total recovery of 62-64 % elemental zinc was obtained after the human milk had passed through the fibre insert, amounting to a 20-48% increase compared to previous zinc delivery studies using rapidly disintegrating tablets within the TNS. This indicates that non-woven Texel fibre mats were identified as the superior dosage form for oral zinc delivery into human milk using a TNS.