Drug delivery through skin using cubic delivery systems

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Shining light on cancer treatment

 
GOAL & AIM
We will develop an effective skin delivery cubic formulation for small and large molecules. Through understanding the diffusion of formulation and drugs into the skin we will meet this challenge.
BACKGROUND
The skin is a barrier that protects the internal body from pathogens, foreign molecules and damage. The permeability of the skin to molecules of different sizes is very limited and is a challenge for drug development. The drug formulations of today meet this challenge by having high dosage of the drugs to ensure uptake, and primarily the drugs are very small. Larger molecules such as proteins, antibodies, vaccines, nanoparticles etc. are more difficult to get across the skin barrier. A skin cream facilitating administration in comparison to needles, aids patient compliance and reduces health care costs.
The cubic phase, a gel-like system, shows great promise for skin drug delivery. It is chemically attracted to the skin surface, it absorbs into the skin and is hard to wash away. The cubic formulations have interesting drug release profiles and also have a depot function.
One area where this formulation can be used is skin cancer therapy. By sensitizing the cells towards light the cancerous skin will be targeted for a direct treatment (photodynamic therapy). When the cubic formulation is used as carrier of the sensitizing agent the treatment seem to improve.
 
RESEARCH QUESTIONS
  • Why is the cubic phase so effective for drug delivery through skin?
  • Will the cubic phase formulation give more effective skin cancer therapy?
  • Can a cubic formulation be used for delivery of large biomolecules and nanoparticles into skin?

The project is carried out in cooperation with the Centre for Skin Research Gothenburg (SkinResGU) with focus on cubic lipid-water formulations as dermal drug delivery vehicle.

Published: Tue 19 Jun 2012. Modified: Mon 28 Oct 2013