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Small. 2012 Mar 26;8(6):807-18. doi: 10.1002/smll.201101545. Epub 2011 Nov 23.

Bicelles: lipid nanostructured platforms with potential dermal applications.

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Dept. of Chemical Technology and Surfactants, Institut de Química Avançada de Catalunya-I.Q.A.C., Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-C.S.I.C., C/Jordi Girona 18-26, 08034 Barcelona, Spain.


Bicelles emerge as promising membrane models, and because of their attractive combination of lipid composition, small size and morphological versatility, they become new targets in skin research. Bicelles are able to modify skin biophysical parameters and modulate the skin's barrier function, acting to enhance drug penetration. Because of their nanostructured assemblies, bicelles have the ability to penetrate through the narrow intercellular spaces of the stratum corneum of the skin to reinforce its lipid lamellae. The bicelle structure also allows for the incorporation of different molecules that can be carried through the skin layers. All of these characteristics can be modulated by varying the lipid composition and experimental conditions. The remarkable versatility of bicelles is their most important characteristic, which makes their use possible in various fields. This system represents a platform for dermal applications. In this review, an overview of the main properties of bicelles and their effects on the skin are presented.

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