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Photophysical Studies and In Vitro Skin Permeation/Retention of Foscan®/Nanoemulsion (NE) Applicable to Photodynamic Therapy Skin Cancer Treatment

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In this work we evaluated the photophysical and in vitro properties of Foscan®, a second-generation photosensitizer drug (PS) widely used in systemic clinical protocols for cancer therapy based on Photodynamic Therapy (PDT). We employed biodegradable nanoemulsions (NE) as a colloidal vehicle of the oil/water (o/w) type focusing in topical administration of Foscan® and other photosensitizer drugs. This formulation was obtained and stabilized by the methodology described by Tabosa do Egito et al., based on the mixture of two phases: an aqueous solution and an organic medium consisting of nonionic surfactants and oil. The photodynamic potential of the drug incorporated into the NE was studied by steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopic techniques. We also analyzed the in vitro biological behavior carried out in mimetic biological environment protocols based on the animal model. After topical application in a skin animal model, we evaluated the Foscan®/NE diffusion flux into the skin layers (stratum corneum and epidermis + dermis) by classical procedures using Franz Diffusion cells. Our results showed that the photophysical properties of PS were maintained after its incorporation into the NE when compared with homogeneous organic medium. The in vitro assays enabled the determination of an adequate profile for the interaction of this system in the different skin layers, with an ideal time lag of 6 h after topical administration in the skin model. The Foscan® diffusion flux (J) was increased when this PS was incorporated into the NE, if compared with its flux in physiological medium. These parameters demonstrated that the NE can be potentially applied as a drug delivery system (DDS) for Foscan® in both in vitro and in vivo assays, as well as in future clinical applications involving topical skin cancer PDT.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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