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J Pharm Sci. 2011 Jan;100(1):242-51. doi: 10.1002/jps.22271. Epub 2010 Jun 23.

Potential use of nanostructured lipid carriers for topical delivery of flurbiprofen.

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Department of Physical Chemistry, Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Av. Joan XXIII s/n, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.


The potential use of nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC) composed of a fatty acid [stearic acid (SA)] or a triglyceride (glyceryl behenate) as solid lipids, and a mixture of medium chain triglycerides and castor oil as liquid lipids, for skin administration of flurbiprofen (FB), has been explored. Two different optimized NLC formulations (FB-SANLC based on SA vs. FB-C888NLC based on glyceryl behenate), with respect to the morphometrical properties (particle size and polydispersity index) and the entrapment efficiency, were used in this study. The ex vivo permeation profiles of FB-C888NLC, FB-SANLC and conventional FB solution were evaluated using human skin. An improved FB permeation was observed when the drug was delivered by skin application of FB-C888NLC, attributed to the particle size and matrix crystallinity. The differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction studies suggested major polymorphic transitions in the lipid matrix of FB-C888NLC. A good correlation between polymorphic transitions and increased drug permeation was observed. However, both NLC dispersions showed a penetration-enhancing ratio (ER) higher than conventional FB solution. The in vitro and in vivo irritancy and local tolerability were assessed by running, respectively, the SKINTEX™ and Draize test. Both FB-C888NLC and FB-SANLC were classified as nonirritant.

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