Lipid nanocarriers as skin drug delivery systems: Properties, mechanisms of skin interactions and medical applications

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Abstract

During the past decades, lipid nanocarriers are gaining momentum with their multiple advantages for the management of skin diseases. Lipid nanocarriers enable to target the therapeutic payload to deep skin layers or even to reach the blood circulation making them a promising cutting-edge technology.

Lipid nanocarriers refer to a large panel of drug delivery systems. Lipid vesicles are the most conventional, known to be able to carry lipophilic and hydrophilic active agents. A variety of lipid vesicles with high flexibility and deformability could be obtained by adjusting their composition; namely ethosomes, transfersomes and penetration enhancer lipid vesicles which achieve the best results in term of skin permeation. Others are designed with the objective to perform higher encapsulation rate and higher stability, such as solid lipid nanoparticles and nanostructured lipid nanocarriers.

In this review, we attempted to give an overview of lipid based nanocarriers developed with the aim to enhance dermal and transdermal drug delivery. A special focus is put on the nanocarrier composition, behavior and interaction mechanisms with the skin. Recent applications of lipid-based nanocarriers for the management of skin diseases and other illnesses are highlighted as well.

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