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Concept: Topical


BACKGROUND: Thuja orientalis has been traditionally used to treat patients who suffer from baldness and hair loss in East Asia. The present study sought to investigate the hair growth-promoting activity of T. orientalis hot water extract and the underlying mechanism of action. METHODS: After T. orientalis extract was topically applied to the shaved dorsal skin of telogenic C57BL/6 N mice, the histomorphometric analysis was employed to study induction of the hair follicle cycle. To determine the effect of T. orientalis extract on the telogen to anagen transition, the protein expression levels of beta-catenin and Sonic hedgehog (Shh) in hair follicles were determined by immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: We observed that T. orientalis extract promoted hair growth by inducing the anagen phase in telogenic C57BL/6 N mice. Specifically, the histomorphometric analysis data indicates that topical application of T. orientalis extract induced an earlier anagen phase and prolonged the mature anagen phase, in contrast to either the control or 1% minoxidil-treated group. We also observed increases in both the number and size of hair follicles of the T. orientalis extract-treated group. Moreover, the immunohistochemical analysis reveals earlier induction of beta-catenin and Shh proteins in hair follicles of the T. orientalis extract-treated group, compared to the control or 1% minoxidil-treated group. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that T. orientalis extract promotes hair growth by inducing the anagen phase in resting hair follicles and might therefore be a potential hair growth-promoting agent.

Concepts: Chemotherapy, Skin, Immunohistochemistry, Topical, Hair, Hair follicle, Sonic hedgehog, Sebaceous gland


The objective of this study was to prepare a suitable formulation for dermal delivery of diflucortolone valerate (DFV) that would maintain the localization in skin layers without any penetration and to optimize efficiency of DFV. Drug-loaded lecithin/chitosan nanoparticles with high entrapment efficiency (86.8%), were successfully prepared by ionic interaction technique. Sustained release of DFV was achieved without any initial burst release. Nanoparticles were also incorporated into chitosan gel at different ratios for preparing a more suitable formulation for topical drug delivery with adequate viscosity. In ex-vivo permeation studies, nanoparticles increased the accumulation of DFV especially in the stratum corneum + epidermis of rat skin without any significant permeation. Retention of DFV from nanoparticle in chitosan gel formulation (0.01%) was twofold higher than commercial cream, although it contained ten times less DFV. Nanoparticles in gel formulations produced significantly higher edema inhibition in rats compared with commercial cream in in-vivo studies. Skin blanching assay using a chromameter showed vasoconstriction similar to that of the commercial product. There were no barrier function changes upon application of nanoparticles. In-vitro and in-vivo results demonstrated that lecithin/chitosan nanoparticles in chitosan gel may be a promising carrier for dermal delivery of DFV in various skin disorders.

Concepts: Colloid, Skin, Topical, Dermis, Epidermis, Keratin, Stratum corneum, Topical steroid


This review provides the first comprehensive overview of the use of both nanoparticles and nanofibers for topical drug delivery. Researchers have explored the use of nanotechnology, specifically nanoparticles and nanofibers, as drug delivery systems for topical and transdermal applications. This approach employs increased drug concentration in the carrier, in order to increase drug flux into and through the skin. Both nanoparticles and nanofibers can be used to deliver hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs and are capable of controlled release for a prolonged period of time. The examples presented provide significant evidence that this area of research has - and will continue to have - a profound impact on both clinical outcomes and the development of new products.

Concepts: Time, Pharmacology, Drug, Chemical properties, Nanomaterials, Drugs, Topical, Route of administration


Multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) that simultaneously prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancy are a global health priority. Combining chemical and physical barriers offers the greatest potential to design effective MPTs, but integrating both functional modalities into a single device has been challenging. Here we show that drug-eluting fiber meshes designed for topical drug delivery can function as a combination chemical and physical barrier MPT. Using FDA-approved polymers, we fabricated nanofiber meshes with tunable fiber size and controlled degradation kinetics that facilitate simultaneous release of multiple agents against HIV-1, HSV-2, and sperm. We observed that drug-loaded meshes inhibited HIV-1 infection in vitro and physically obstructed sperm penetration. Furthermore, we report on a previously unknown activity of glycerol monolaurate (GML) to potently inhibit sperm motility and viability. The application of drug-eluting nanofibers for HIV-1 prevention and sperm inhibition may serve as an innovative platform technology for drug delivery to the lower female reproductive tract.

Concepts: Reproduction, Reproductive system, Fertility, Topical, Sexually transmitted disease, Human sexual behavior, Sexually transmitted diseases and infections, Barrier


Psoriasis is a common, chronic, inflammatory skin disease with the majority of individuals having limited disease, treated with topical medication. However, special attributes of topical treatments like galenic/cosmetic properties or an inconvenient treatment schedule may result in low preference for topical treatments. Hence, there is strong medical need for a topical medication, which is highly efficacious, easy-to-use and preferred by both physicians and patients.

Concepts: Medicine, Medical terms, Randomized controlled trial, Antibiotic, Topical


INTRODUCTION: Systemic and topical nasal decongestants are widely used in otorhinolaryngology and general practice for the management of acute rhinosinusitis and as an adjuvant in certain forms of chronic rhinosinusitis. These products, very effective to rapidly improve nasal congestion, are sometimes available over the counter and can be the subject of misuse, which is difficult to control. The Société Française d'ORL has recently issued guidelines concerning the use of these decongestants in the doctor’s office and the operating room. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The review of the literature conducted by the task force studied in detail the concepts of “rebound congestion” and “rhinitis medicamentosa” often reported in a context of misuse, particularly of topical nasal decongestants. The clinical and histopathological consequences of prolonged and repeated use of nasal decongestants have been studied on animal models and healthy subjects. RESULTS: Discordant results have been obtained, as some authors reported a harmful effect of nasal decongestants on the nasal mucosa, while others did not identify any significant changes. No study has been able to distinguish between inflammatory lesions induced by chronic rhinosinusitis and lesions possibly related to the use of nasal decongestants. DISCUSSION: The task force explained the rebound congestion observed after stopping nasal decongestant treatment by return of the nasal congestion induced by rhinosinusitis and rejected the concept of rhinitis medicamentosa in the absence of scientific evidence from patients with rhinosinusitis. CONCLUSION: Nasal decongestants are recommended for the management of acute rhinosinusitis to reduce the consequences of often disabling nasal congestion. They are also recommended during rhinoscopic examination and for preparation of the nasal mucosa prior to endonasal surgery.

Concepts: Sinusitis, Topical, Mucus, Pseudoephedrine, Nasal congestion, Topical decongestant, Rhinitis medicamentosa, Decongestant


OBJECTIVE: MQX-503 is a novel nitroglycerine preparation designed to absorb quickly and allow local vasodilatation in the skin. We examined the efficacy and tolerability of this medication in Raynaud phenomenon (RP) in a laboratory-based study. METHODS: In this multi-centre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, cross-over study, subjects were treated with 0.5% or 1.25% nitroglycerine or placebo gel. Subjects received each dose twice in a randomised order. Each study session consisted of baseline laser Doppler measurements, study gel application and 5 min of cold chamber exposure (-20°C). Blood flow (BF) was measured at the end of exposure and for the next 120 min at set intervals. Other outcome measures included achievement of baseline BF; the time to achieve 50% and 70% baseline skin temperature (ST); and pain, tingling and numbness scores. RESULTS: 37 subjects completed 214 treatment periods. Time to achieve baseline BF was significantly shorter in the two treated groups (HR=1.77 and 2.02 for 0.5% and 1.25% vs placebo, respectively). The proportion of subjects achieving baseline BF was 45.8% for placebo, 66.2% for 0.5% and 69% for 1.25% (p=0.01 and p=0.002 for 0.5% and 1.25% vs placebo, respectively). No meaningful differences were seen in ST or pain/numbness/tingling scores. Treatment was well tolerated with no serious adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with MQX-503 caused a significant improvement in skin BF compared with placebo. Data from this proof of concept study suggest benefit of MQX-503 in subjects with RP.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Measurement, Skin, Paresthesia, Placebo, Topical, Proof of concept, Raynaud's phenomenon


It is well established that aberrant production of inflammatory mediators has been associated with most the toxic manifestations and the genesis of different chronic diseases including cancer. The basic aim of the present study is to investigate the effects of soy isoflavones (SIF) on 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced cutaneous inflammatory responses and to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms. We have studied the protective effects of SIF against TPA induced oxidative stress, pro-inflammatory cytokines level, activation of NF-κB, expression of COX-2 and ki-67 in mouse skin. Animals were divided into five groups I-V (n=6). Groups II, III and IV received topical application of TPA at the dose of 10nmol/0.2ml of acetone/animal/day, for 2 days. Animals of the groups III and IV were pre-treated with SIF 1.0μg (D1) and 2.0μg (D2) topically 30min prior to each TPA administration, while groups I and V were given acetone (0.2ml) and SIF (D2), respectively. We have found that SIF pretreatment significantly inhibited TPA induced oxidative stress, proinflammatory cytokines production and activation of NF-κB. SIF also inhibited the expression of COX-2 and ki-67. Histological findings further supported the protective effects of SIF against TPA-induced cutaneous damage. Thus, our results suggest that inhibitory effect of SIF on TPA-induced cutaneous inflammation includes inhibition of proinflammatory cytokines, attenuation of oxidative stress, activation of NF-κB and expression of COX-2.

Concepts: Inflammation, Cytokine, Asthma, Soybean, Isoflavones, Genistein, Topical, Daidzein


Nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC)-based gel was developed as potential topical system for flurbiprofen (FP) topical delivery. The characterizations of the prepared semisolid formulation for topical application on skin were assessed by means of particle size distribution, zeta potential analysis, X-ray analysis, in vitro percutaneous penetration, rheological study, skin irritation test, in vivo pharmacodynamic evaluation and in vivo pharmacokinetic study. The NLC remained within the colloidal range and it was uniformly dispersed after suitably gelled by carbopol preparation. It was indicated in vitro permeation studies through rat skin that FP-NLC-gel had a more pronounced permeation profile compared with that of FP-loaded common gel. Pseudoplastic flows with thixotropy were obtained for all NLC-gels after storage at three different temperatures. No oedema and erythema were observed after administration of FP-NLC-gel on the rabbit skin, and the ovalbumin induced rat paw edema could be inhibited by the gel. The maximum concentration in plasma was 29.44μg/ml and 2.49μg/ml after oral and topical administration, respectively. While the amount of drug accumulated in skin after topical application was much higher than oral application. In conclusion, NLC-based gel could be a promising vehicle for topical delivery of FP.

Concepts: In vivo, Colloid, In vitro, Particle size distribution, Topical


Nanostructured lipid carrier (NLC) is second generation smarter drug carrier system having solid matrix at room temperature. This carrier system is made up of physiological, biodegradable and biocompatible lipid materials and surfactants and is accepted by regulatory authorities for application in different drug delivery systems. The availability of many products in the market in short span of time reveals the success story of this delivery system. Since the introduction of the first product, around 30 NLC preparations are commercially available. NLC exhibit superior advantages over other colloidal carriers viz., nanoemulsions, polymeric nanoparticles, liposomes, SLN etc. and thus, have been explored to more extent in pharmaceutical technology. The whole set of unique advantages such as enhanced drug loading capacity, prevention of drug expulsion, leads to more flexibility for modulation of drug release and makes NLC versatile delivery system for various routes of administration. The present review gives insights on the definitions and characterization of NLC as colloidal carriers including the production techniques and suitable formulations. This review paper also highlights the importance of NLC in pharmaceutical applications for the various routes of drug delivery viz., topical, oral, pulmonary, ocular and parenteral administration and its future perspective as a pharmaceutical carrier.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Nanoparticle, Drugs, Topical, Route of administration, Injection, Routes of administration, Carrier wave