Biopolymer based micro/nanoparticles as drug carriers for the treatment of skin diseases

Eke, Gözde
Controlled drug delivery systems are becoming increasingly interesting with the contribution of nanotechnology. In the case of transdermal applications the greatest limitation is the highly impermeable outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum. One promising method of controlled transdermal drug delivery of the skin therapeutics is the use of nanoparticles as carriers. Encapsulation of the drug, as opposed to classical topical application of creams or emulsions, allows the drug to diffuse into hair follicles where drug release can occur in the deeper layers of the skin. The aim of this study was to develop micro and nano sized carriers as drug delivery systems to achieve treatment for skin conditions like psoriasis, aging or UV damage, caused by radiation or health problems. Two different types of bioactive agents, retinyl palmitate (RP) and Dead Sea Water (DSW), were used by encapsulating in poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) carriers. In some tests MgCl2 was used as a substitute for DSW when quantification was needed. Bioactive agent loaded nanospheres and nanocapsules were prepared with o/w and w/o/w methods in low micron (1.9 µm), mid nano (426 nm) and nano (166 nm) sizes. Loading, encapsulation efficiency and release kinetics were studied. The encapsulation efficiency and loading values are low especially for the water soluble agents, DSW and MgCl2. It was observed that the capsules loaded with hydrophilic agents released their content in the first 24 h in aqueous media. The encapsulation efficiency and loading values for RP were higher because of the insolubility of the agent in water. In the in vitro studies carried out with L929 mouse fibroblast cells, the nano sized PHBV capsules were detected in the cytoplasm of the cells. Cell viability assay (MTT) for L929 cells showed a growth trend indicating that the particles were not cytotoxic and the values were close to the controls. Hemolytic activity was examined using human erythrocytes and micro/nanoparticles of PHBV were found to be non hemolytic. In vivo testing with BALB/c mice, nanocapsule penetration revealed that a small amount of nano sized particles penetrated the mice skin, despite the highly impermeable outer skin layer. As a result, PHBV micro/nanoparticles have a significant potential for use as topical drug delivery systems in the treatment of skin diseases.