Investigation of ethyl cellulose microsponge gel for topical delivery of eberconazole nitrate for fungal therapy

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The aim of the study was to investigate ethyl cellulose microsponges as topical carriers for the controlled release and cutaneous drug deposition of eberconazole nitrate (EB).

Materials & method:

EB microsponges were prepared using the quasiemulsion solvent diffusion method. The effect of formulation variables (drug:polymer ratio, internal phase volume and amount of emulsifier) and process variables (stirring time and stirring speed) on the physical characteristics of microsponges were investigated. The optimized microsponges were dispersed into a hydrogel and evaluated.

Results & discussion:

Spherical and porous EB microsponge particles were obtained. The optimized microsponges possessed particle size, drug content and entrapment efficiency of 24.5 µm, 43.31% and 91.44%, respectively. Microsponge-loaded gels demonstrated controlled release, nonirritancy to rat skin and antifungal activity. An in vivo skin deposition study demonstrated fourfold higher retention in the stratum corneum layer as compared with commercial cream.


Developed ethyl cellulose microsponges could be potential pharmaceutical topical carriers of EB in antifungal therapy.

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