Effect of Brij 97 in the presence and absence of carrageenan on the transdermal delivery of 5-Fluorouracil
Neethling, Catharina Elizabeth
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The skin is the largest and most easily accessible organ of the human body thus making it the ideal route for systemic drug delivery. The transdermal route of drug delivery offers several advantages compared to the traditional routes including elimination of first pass metabolism and higher patient compliance. However, many drugs are topically and systemically ineffective when applied onto the skin, due to their almost complete failure to penetrate the skin. The main limitation lies in the stratum corneum, the barrier of the skin, which prevent the drug from reaching the deeper skin strata. 5-Fluorouracil is a polar hydrophilic drug and is therefore not a good penetrant through skin. A popular technique to increase transdermal permeation is to use a penetration enhancer, which reversibly reduce the permeability barrier of the stratum corneum. The primary aim of this study was to determine the effect of Brij 97 in the presence and absence of carrageenan on the transdermal delivery of 5-fluorouracil. The formulations were identified by means of confocal laser scanning microscopy and measurement of the particle size. The zeta-potential was measured to determine whether the formulations were stable and the pH was measured to determine if the internal structures of the formulations were affected by the drug. The drug released from the formulations was measured with a VanKel dissolution apparatus. In vitro transdermal diffusion studies were performed using vertical Franz diffusion cells with human epidermal skin. Histopathological studies were carried out on human epidermis skin to determine if the surfactant, Brij 97, had any effect on the skin. Through confocal laser scanning microscopy and particle size measurements, the 4 and 8% Brij 97 formulations without carrageenan could be identified as emulsions while the 15 and 25% Brij 97 formulations without carrageenan could be identified as microemulsions. The 4, 8, 15 and 25% Brij 97 formulations containing carrageenan could be identified as gels. The results obtained from the zeta-potential analysis indicated that the 4 and 8% Brij 97 formulations without carrageenan and 4% Brij 97 formulation with carrageenan are the most electronegative and thus the most stable. The pH measurements confirmed that the internal structure of the formulations was not influenced by the drug. 5-Fluorouracil was released from the formulations. The 4 and 8% Brij 97 formulations without carrageenan had an enhancing effect on the penetration of 5-fluorouracil while the 4, 8, 15 and 25% Brij 97 formulations with carrageenan and the 15 and 25% Brij 97 formulations without carrageenan had an hindering effect on the penetration of 5-fluorouracil. Although carrageenan led to good adhesiveness of the formulation on the skin, it did not lead to the enhancement of the penetration of 5-fluorouracil through the skin. When histopathological studies were carried out on female human abdominal skin, Brij 97, the surfactant, was found to have no damaging effect on the skin structure.
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