METHODS: 5-fluorouracil-loaded ethosomes were prepared and subjected to size, zeta potential, morphology, drug content, drug release and skin permeation tests. The molecular characteristics of untreated, microwave and/or ethosome-treated skins were examined by Fourier transform infrared and raman spectroscopy, thermal and electron microscopy techniques.
RESULTS: The skin drug retention was promoted using larger ethosomes with negative zeta potentials that repelled anionic lipids of skin and hindered vesicle permeation into deep layers. These ethosomes had low ethanol content. They were less able to fluidize the lipid and defluidize the protein domains at epidermis to enlarge aqueous pores for drug permeation. Pre-treatment of skin by 2450 MHz microwave for 2.5 min further increased skin drug penetration and retention of low ethanol ethosomes and provided lower drug permeation than cases treated for 1.15 min and 5 min. A 2.5 min treatment might be accompanied by specific dermal protein fluidization via C=O moiety which translated to macromolecular swelling, narrowing of intercellular spaces at lower skin layers, increased drug retention and reduced drug permeation.
CONCLUSION: Ethosomes and microwave synergized to promote skin drug retention.
Methods: Colchicine-loaded transethosomes (TEs) were prepared by the cold method and statistically optimized using three sets of 24 factorial design experiments. The optimized formulations were incorporated into Carbopol 940® gel base. The prepared colchicine-loaded transethosomal gels were further characterized for vesicular size, dispersity, zeta potential, drug content, pH, viscosity, yield, rheological behavior, and ex vivo skin permeation through Sprague Dawley rats' back skin.
Results: The results showed that the colchicine-loaded TEs had aspherical irregular shape, nanometric size range, and high entrapment efficiency. All the formulated gels exhibited non-Newtonian plastic flow without thixotropy. Colchicine-loaded transethosomal gels were able to significantly enhance the skin permeation parameters of the drug in comparison to the non-ethosomal gel.
Conclusion: These findings suggested that the transethosomal gels are promising carriers for the transdermal delivery of colchicine, providing an alternative route for drug administration.
METHODS: This work reports the application of an X-ray microbeam via synchrotron SAXS/WAXS analysis to monitor drug crystallization in the skin, especially in the deeper skin layers. Confocal Raman spectroscopy (CRS) was employed to examine drug distribution in the skin to complement the detection of drug crystallization using SAXS/WAXS analysis.
RESULTS: Following application of saturated drug solutions (ibuprofen, diclofenac acid, and salts), CRS depth profiles confirmed that the drugs generally were delivered to a depth of ~15 - 20 µm in the skin. This was compared with the WAXS profiles that measured drug crystal diffraction at a depth of up to ~25 µm of the skin.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates the potential of synchrotron SAXS/WAXS analysis for profiling of drug crystallization in situ in the deeper skin layers without pre-treatment for the skin samples. [Figure: see text].