Pharmaceutical research

Acid-responsive polymeric nanocarriers for topical adapalene delivery.

PMID 24805280


The acne skin is characteristic of a relatively lower pH microenvironment compared to the healthy skin. The aim of this work was to utilize such pH discrepancy as a site-specific trigger for on-demand topical adapalene delivery. The anti-acne agent, adapalene, was encapsulated in acid-responsive polymer (Eudragit® EPO) nanocarriers via nanoprecipitation. The nanocarriers were characterized in terms of particle size, surface morphology, drug-carrier interaction, drug release and permeation. Adapalene experienced a rapid release at pH 4.0 in contrast to that at pH 5.0 and 6.0. The permeation study using silicone membrane revealed a significant higher drug flux from the nanocarrier (6.5 ± 0.6 μ in comparison to that (3.9 ± 0.4 μ in the control vehicle (Transcutol®). The in vitro pig skin tape stripping study showed that at 24 h post dose-application the nanocarrier delivered the same amount of drug to the stratum corneum as the positive control vehicle did. The acid-responsive nanocarriers hold promise for efficient adapalene delivery and thus improved acne therapy.