Journal of drug targeting

Nanosized ethosomes-based hydrogel formulations of methoxsalen for enhanced topical delivery against vitiligo: formulation optimization, in vitro evaluation and preclinical assessment.

PMID 26325228


The present investigation aimed for the development and characterization of ethosomes-based hydrogel formulations of methoxsalen for enhanced topical delivery and effective treatment against vitiligo. The ethosomes were prepared by central composite design (CCD) and characterized for various quality attributes like vesicle shape, size, zeta potential, lamellarity, drug entrapment and drug leaching. The optimized ethosomes were subsequently incorporated int Carbopol® 934 gel and characterized for drug content, rheological behavior, texture profile, in vitro release, ex vivo skin permeation and retention, skin photosensitization and histopathological examination. Ethosomes were found to be spherical and multilamellar in structures having nanometric size range with narrow size distribution, and high encapsulation efficiency. Ethosomal formulations showed significant skin permeation and accumulation in the epidermal and dermal layers. The fluorescence microscopy study using 123 Rhodamine exhibited enhanced permeation of the drug-loaded ethosomes in the deeper layers of skin. Also, the developed formulation showed insignificant phototoxicity and erythema vis-à-vis the conventional cream. The results were cross-validated using histopathological examination of skin segments. In a nutshell, the ethosomes-based hydrogel formulation was found to be a promising drug delivery system demonstrating enhanced percutaneous penetration of methoxsalen with reduced phototoxicity and erythema, thus leading to improved patient compliance for the treatment against vitiligo.