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AAPS PharmSci. 2003;5(1):E2.

Skin oxygenation after topical application of liposome-entrapped benzyl nicotinate as measured by EPR oximetry in vivo: influence of composition and size.

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  • 1University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Pharmacy, Slovenia. julijana.


New and improved drug delivery systems are the important subject of much scientific research. The development of formulations that increase skin oxygenation and of methods for measuring oxygen levels in skin are important for dealing with healing processes affected by the level of oxygen. We have used EPR oximetry in vivo to compare the influence of liposomal formulations of different size and composition with that of hydrogel with respect to the action of the entrapped benzyl nicotinate (BN). Following the topical application of BN onto the skin of mice, pO2 increase was measured by low-frequency EPR as a function of time. The effect of BN was evaluated by 3 different parameters: lag-time, time needed for maximum pO2 increase, and overall effectiveness expressed by the area under the response-time curve. An increase in skin oxygenation was observed after BN application. The results show that the effect of BN incorporated in liposomes is achieved more rapidly than the effect from hydrophilic gel. The composition of the liposomes significantly affects the time at which BN starts to act and, to a lesser extent, the maximum increase of pO2 in skin and the effectiveness of BN action. However, the size of the liposomes influences both the effectiveness of BN action and the time at which BN starts to act. After repeated application of liposomes, the pO2 baseline increased and the response of the skin tissue was faster. Our results demonstrate that EPR oximetry is a useful method for evaluating oxygen changes after drug application and for following the time course of their action.

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