Old drug, new wrapping − A possible comeback for chloramphenicol?

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Graphical abstractThe antimicrobial drug chloramphenicol (CAM) exhibits activity against resistant bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). However, its use has been limited due to its toxicity. As the threat of antibiotic resistance continues to grow, a promising approach might be to increase the use of historical antimicrobial agents that demonstrate clinical efficacy, but are hampered by toxicity. We therefore aimed to prepare a liposome-in-hydrogel system for dermal delivery of CAM. Chitosan (CS) was used as the hydrogel vehicle due to its antimicrobial activity and excellent biocompatibility. All critical preparation steps were carried out by dual centrifugation (DC). The DC-method proved to be fast and simple, and organic solvents were avoided in all processing steps. Liposomes with high drug entrapment (49–56%), low polydispersity and a size of approximately 120 nm were produced. Mixing of liposomes into CS-hydrogel by DC produced a homogenous liposomes-in-hydrogel system. Bioadhesive properties were good and comparable to plain CS-hydrogel formulations. Ex vivo permeation studies using pig skin indicated a sustained release of CAM and limited skin permeation. The in vitro antimicrobial activity of CAM in the new liposome-in-hydrogel formulation was similar or better as compared to CAM in solution. Thus, the new formulation was considered highly promising.

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