Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a vitamin-like oil-soluble molecule that has anti-oxidant and anti-ageing effects. To determine the most optimal CoQ10 delivery vehicle, CoQ10 was solubilised in both water and fish oil, and formulated into hydrogel, oleogel and bigel. Permeability of CoQ10 from each formulation across porcine ear skin was then evaluated. Furthermore, the effects of the omega-3 fatty eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids from fish oil on skin permeation were investigated by means of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and computerised molecular modelling docking experiments. The highest drug permeation was achieved with the bigel formulation that proved to be the most effective vehicle in delivering CoQ10 across the skin membrane due to a combination of its adhesive, viscous and lipophilic properties. Furthermore, the interactions between CoQ10 and fatty acids revealed by NMR and molecular modelling experiments likely accounted for skin permeability of CoQ10. NMR data showed dose-dependent changes in proton chemical shifts in EPA and DHA. Molecular modelling revealed complex formation and large binding energies between fatty acids and CoQ10. This study advances the knowledge about bigels as drug delivery vehicles and highlights the use of NMR and molecular docking studies for the prediction of the influence of drug-excipient relationships at the molecular level.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.