METHODS: Imiquimod-loaded fish oil bigel colloidal system was prepared using a blend of carbopol hydrogel and fish oil oleogel. Bigels were first characterized for their mechanical properties and compared to conventional gel systems. Ex vivo permeation studies were performed on murine skin to analyze the ability of the bigels to transport drug across skin and to predict the release mechanism via mathematical modelling. Furthermore, to analyze pharmacological effectiveness in skin cancer and controlling imiquimod-induced inflammatory side effects, imiquimod-fish oil combination was tested in vitro on epidermoid carcinoma cells and in vivo in Swiss albino mice cancer model.
RESULTS: Imiquimod-loaded fish oil bigels exhibited higher drug availability inside the skin as compared to individual imiquimod hydrogel and oleogel controls through quasi-Fickian diffusion mechanism. Imiquimod-fish oil combination in bigel enhanced the antitumor effects and significantly reduced serum pro-inflammatory cytokine levels such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6, and reducing tumor progression via inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor. Imiquimod-fish oil combination also resulted in increased expression of interleukin-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine, which could also aid anti-tumor activity against skin cancer.
CONCLUSION: Imiquimod administration through a bigel vehicle along with fish oil could be beneficial for controlling imiquimod-induced inflammatory side effects and in the treatment of skin cancer.
METHODS: SoLE 20% was prepared using superolein oil and MCT oil (1:1), stabilized with egg lecithin and homogenized using a high pressure homogenizer. Mean droplet size was used as the response variable and was measured using laser diffraction and dynamic light scattering method. Physical stability at 4 °C, 25 °C and 40 °C storage temperatures were determined based on particle size and distribution, polydispersity index, zeta potential, viscosity, vitamin E contents and pH. Sterility and pyrogenicity were also investigated. Rabbits were administered with 1.0 g/kg SoLE 20% for 5 h and repeated daily for 3 days to investigate its effect on blood lipid and liver enzymes profile.
RESULTS: SoLE 20% was succesfully prepared using the optimized parameters of 800 psi, 7 cycles and 1.2 g lecithin. The IVLE prepared had a particle size of 252.60 ± 4.88 nm and was physically stable for 4 weeks at different storage temperatures. SoLE 20% had a high content of natural vitamin E, remained sterile and pyrogen free. It was also safe for intravenous administration and did not alter the blood lipid (p > 0.05) and liver enzymes profiles (p > 0.05) of the rabbits.
CONCLUSION: The optimal parameters to develop a stable superolein based IVLE are 800 psi homogenization pressure, 7 homogenization cycles and using 1.2 g lecithin as the emulsifier. SoLE 20% is safe for intravenous administration and does not significantly alter lipid and liver enzymes profiles of the rabbits.