Nanostructured lipid carriers for the topical delivery of tretinoin

Vivek M. Ghate, Shaila A. Lewis, Prabhakara Prabhu, Akhilesh Dubey, Nilkumar Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Cosmetic skin care products currently in the market demonstrate an increasing trend toward antiaging products. Selection of the right formulation approach is the key to successful consumer acceptance. Nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) for dermal application can render added benefits to the formulation. Tretinoin a derivative of vitamin A, is a retinoid with anti-aging and anti-acne potential. The present study was aimed at formulating NLCs of tretinoin for reducing the skin irritation potential, increasing the drug loading capacity and prolonging the duration of action. The NLCs were optimized using the response surface methodology based on the particle size. Preliminary study, suggested the use of stearic acid, oleic acid, Tween 80 and Span 60 as solid lipid, liquid lipid and surfactants respectively formed a stable dispersion. NLCs of tretinoin were prepared by hot melt microemulsion and hot melt probe sonication methods. The properties of the optimized NLCs such as morphology, size, Zeta potential, stability and in vitro drug release were investigated. Tretinoin loaded NLCs in carbopol gel showed a sustained release pattern with isopropyl alcohol as the receptor fluid compared to the marketed gel using Franz diffusion cells. Eight prepared gel formulations tested were found to follow the Higuchi model of drug release. Stability studies indicated that the formulations stored at refrigeration and room temperature showed no noticeable differences in the drug content and release profiles in vitro, after a period of 4 weeks. In vivo skin irritation test on male Wister rats indicated no irritation or erythema after application of the NLCs loaded gel repeated for a period of 7 days compared to the application of marketed tretinoin gel which showed irritation and slight erythema within 3 days. The results showed that the irritation potential of tretinoin was reduced, the drug loading was increased and the drug release was prolonged by the incorporation into the NLCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-261
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 01-11-2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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