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Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2012;60(9):1118-24.

Antimicrobial activity of curcumin-loaded myristic acid microemulsions against Staphylococcus epidermidis.

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Graduate Institute of Biochemical and Biomedical Engineering, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Road, Kwei-Shan Tao-Yuan, Taiwan 333, ROC.


The bactericidal properties of myristic acid and curcumin were revealed in a number of studies. However, whether curcumin-loaded myristic acid microemulsions can be used to inhibit Staphylococcus epidermidis, which causes nosocomial infections, has not been reported. Our aim was to develop curcumin-loaded myristic acid microemulsions to inhibit S. epidermidis on the skin. The interfacial tension, size distribution, and viscosity data of the microemulsions were characterized to elucidate the physicochemical properties of the curcumin microemulsions. Curcumin distribution in neonate pig skin was visualized using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Dermal curcumin accumulation (326 µg/g skin) and transdermal curcumin penetration (87 µg/cm(2)/d) were obtained with the microemulsions developed herein. Curcumin at the concentration of 0.86 µg/mL in the myristic acid microemulsion could inhibit 50% of the bacterial growth, which was 12 times more effective than curcumin dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). The cocktail combination of myristic acid and curcumin in the microemulsion carrier synergistically inhibited the growth of S. epidermidis. The results we obtained highlight the potential of using curcumin-loaded microemulsions as an alternative treatment for S. epidermidis-associated diseases and acne vulgaris.

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