Novel alginate-based nanocarriers as a strategy to include high concentrations of hydrophobic compounds in hydrogels for topical application.

PMID 26033822


The cutaneous penetration of hydrophobic active molecules is of foremost concern in the dermatology and cosmetic formulation fields. The poor solubility in water of those molecules limits their use in hydrophilic forms such as gels, which are favored by patients with chronic skin disease. The aim of this work is to design a novel nanocarrier of hydrophobic active molecules and to determine its potential as an ingredient of a topical form. The nanocarrier consists of an oily core surrounded by a protective shell of alginate, a natural polysaccharide isolated from brown algae. These calcium alginate-based nanocarriers (CaANCs) were prepared at room temperature and without the use of organic solvent by an accelerated nanoemulsification-polymer crosslinking method. The size (hydrodynamic diameter ~200 nm) and surface charge (zeta potential ~ - 30 mV) of the CaANCs are both compatible with their application on skin. CaANCs loaded with a fluorescent label were stable in model hydrophilic galenic forms under different storage conditions. Curcumin was encapsulated in CaANCs with an efficiency of ~95%, fully retaining its antioxidant activity. The application of the curcumin-loaded CaANCs on excised human skin led to a significant accumulation of the active molecules in the upper layers of the skin, asserting the potential of these nanocarriers in active pharmaceutical and cosmetic ingredients topical delivery.

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Acrylic acid, anhydrous, contains 200 ppm MEHQ as inhibitor, 99%