International journal of pharmaceutics

Antifungal activity against Candida albicans of starch Pickering emulsion with thymol or amphotericin B in suspension and calcium alginate films.

PMID 26231107


Conventional antifungal treatments against Candida albicans in the oral cavity often result in increased cytotoxicity. The goal of this study was to determine the potential of starch Pickering emulsion as a delivery vehicle for an antifungal natural phenolic compound such as thymol in simulated saliva fluid (SSF) compared to amphotericin B. An oil-in-water (o/w) emulsion was stabilized using starch particles. Physical stability of the emulsion and disruption induced by α-amylase activity in SSF was evaluated. Encapsulated thymol in o/w emulsion was compared to encapsulated amphotericin B for antifungal activity against C. albicans in suspension using emulsions or zone inhibition assay on agar plates using emulsions dispersed in alginate films. Results showed that the emulsions were stable for at least three weeks. Digestion of the emulsion by α-amylase led to coalescence of emulsion droplets. The antifungal activity of thymol and amphotericin B in emulsion formulation was enhanced upon incubation with α-amylase. Results from the zone inhibition assay demonstrated efficacy of the emulsions dispersed in alginate films. Interestingly, addition of α-amylase to the alginate films resulted in a decreased inhibitory effect. Overall, this study showed that starch Pickering emulsions have a potential to deliver hydrophobic antifungal compounds to treat oral candidiasis.