In-vivodermal pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and safety of skin targeting nanoparticles for corticosteroid treatment of atopic dermatitis


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Abstract

Graphical abstractThe objective of this study was to investigate the in-vivo behavior of topically applied cationic polymeric chitosan nanoparticles (CSNPs) loaded with anti-inflammatory (hydrocortisone, HC) and antimicrobial (hydroxytyrosol, HT) drugs, to elucidate their skin targeting potential for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD). Compared to the commercial formulation, the HC-HT loaded CSNPs showed significantly improved drug penetration into the epidermal and dermal layers of albino Wistar rat skin without saturation. Dermal pharmacokinetic of CSNPs with a size of 228.5 ± 7 nm and +39 ± 5 mV charges revealed that they penetrated 2.46-fold deeper than the commercial formulation did, and had greater affinity at the skin target site without spreading to the surrounding tissues, thereby providing substantial safety benefits. In repeated dermal application toxicity studies, the HC-HT CSNPs showed no evidence of toxicity compared to the commercial formulation, which induced skin atrophy and higher liver enzyme levels. In conclusion, the positively charged HC-HT CSNP formulation exhibited promising local delivery and virtually no treatment-related toxicities, suggesting it may be an efficient and viable alternative for commercially available AD treatments.

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