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Traversing the Skin Barrier with Nano-emulsions

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Background: In recent years, colloidal delivery systems based on nano-emulsion are gaining popularity; being used for encapsulation and delivery of many drugs. This review therefore aims at summarizing various methods of nano-emulsion formulation and their use as a topical and transdermal delivery vehicle for a number of active pharmaceutical ingredients from different pharmacological classes.

Methods: This article represents a systematic review of nano-emulsions for topical and transdermal drug delivery. A vast literature was searched and critically analysed.

Results: Nano-emulsions are thermokinetically stable dispersion systems, which have been used in topical and transdermal delivery of a number of pharmaceutically active compounds. Nano-emulsions have a narrow droplet size range with tuneable surface properties, which make them an ideal delivery vehicle. Nanoemulsions have a number of advantages over conventional emulsions, including easy preparation using various low and high energy methods, optical transparency, high solubilisation capacity, high stability to droplet aggregation and the ability to penetrate the skin; thus allowing the transdermal delivery of drugs.

Conclusion: This review indicated that nano-emulsions are promising vehicle for entrapping various drugs and are suitable for traversing the skin barrier for systemic effects.
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Keywords: Emulsification; micro-emulsions; nano-emulsions; skin permeation; topical drug delivery; transdermal drug delivery

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • The aim of Current Drug Delivery is to publish peer-reviewed articles, short communications, short and in-depth reviews in the rapidly developing field of drug delivery. Modern drug research aims to build in delivery properties of a drug at the design phase, however in many cases this ideal cannot be met and the development of delivery systems becomes as important as the development as the drugs themselves.

    The journal aims to cover the latest outstanding developments in drug and vaccine delivery employing physical, physico-chemical and chemical methods. The drugs include a wide range of bioactive compounds from simple pharmaceuticals to peptides, proteins, nucleotides, nucleosides and sugars. The journal will also report progress in the fields of transport routes and mechanisms including efflux proteins and multi-drug resistance.

    The journal is essential for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug design, development and delivery.
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