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Topical Delivery of Antioxidants

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Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals have been implicated in a number of diseases and disorders, and the skin, for its localization, is exposed to a large number of environmental threats. Free radical scavengers and antioxidants have thus been proposed as protective or therapeutic agents against ROS-mediated injuries. Oral treatment with several antioxidants has been reported to provide skin protection against deleterious effects of ultraviolet radiation. Topical delivery of antioxidants has increasingly gained interest and development, especially by offering better targeting to the upper skin layer. However, the topical delivery of antioxidants for dermal action is a challenging research field since the molecules are, in general, susceptible to degradation. The search for a new delivery system that, simultaneously, preserves the antioxidant stability and enhances its deposition on the skin, opened a new chapter in drug delivery design. Nanocarriers have been successful in enhancing the clinical efficiency of several drugs. More recent approaches in modulating through the skin delivery led to the development of specialized nanoparticulated systems. The first part of this article presents a review of the potential of antioxidants as pharmacological agents in ROS related diseases, with a special focus on oxidative stress implicated skin pathologies: ROS formation and natural protection against ROS toxicity, ROS-mediated skin damage and skin protection by antioxidants. In the second part of this work, we present reported formulation strategies for dermal delivery of antioxidants focusing on the nanoparticulated systems developed in recent years.

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Keywords: Antioxidants; antioxidant enzymes; antioxidant therapy; dermal delivery; drug carriers; drug delivery systems; low molecular weight antioxidants; nanoparticulated systems; pharmaceutical technology; reactive oxygen species; skin cancer; skin diseases; topical application; topical delivery

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2011

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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