Colloidal nanocarriers for the enhanced cutaneous delivery of naftifine: characterization studies and in vitro and in vivo evaluations

Erdal M. S. , Ozhan G. , Mat M. C. , Ozsoy Y. , Gungor S.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NANOMEDICINE, vol.11, pp.1027-1037, 2016 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.2147/ijn.s96243
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1027-1037


In topical administration of antifungals, the drugs should pass the stratum corneum to reach lower layers of the skin in effective concentrations. Thus, the formulation of antifungal agents into a suitable delivery system is important for the topical treatment of fungal infections. Nanosized colloidal carriers have gained great interest during the recent years to serve as efficient promoters of drug penetration into the skin. Microemulsions are soft colloidal nanosized drug carriers, which are thermodynamically stable and isotropic systems. They have been extensively explored for the enhancement of skin delivery of drugs. This study was carried out to exploit the feasibility of colloidal carriers as to improve skin transport of naftifine, which is an allylamine antifungal drug. The microemulsions were formulated by construction of pseudoternary phase diagrams and composed of oleic acid (oil phase), Kolliphor (R) EL or Kolliphor (R) RH40 (surfactant), Transcutol (R) (cosurfactant), and water (aqueous phase). The plain and drug-loaded microemulsions were characterized in terms of isotropy, particle size and size distribution, pH value, refractive index, viscosity, and conductivity. The in vitro skin uptake of naftifine from microemulsions was studied using tape stripping technique in pig skin. The drug penetrated significantly into stratum corneum from microemulsions compared to its marketed cream (P<0.05). Moreover, the microemulsion formulations led to highly significant amount of naftifine deposition in deeper layers of skin than that of commercial formulation (P<0.001). Microemulsion-skin interaction was confirmed by attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy data, in vitro. The results of the in vivo tape stripping experiment showed similar trends as the in vitro skin penetration study. Topical application of the microemulsion on human forearms in vivo enhanced significantly the distribution and the amount of naftifine penetrated into the stratum corneum as compared to the marketed formulation (P<0.05). The relative safety of the microemulsion formulations was demonstrated with 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide viability test. This study indicated that the nanosized colloidal carriers developed could be considered as an effective and safe topical delivery system for naftifine.