Laboratório de Tecnologia Farmacêutica, Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Farmacêuticas, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria, RS, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]
The current study developed an innovative Pemulen® TR2 hydrogel containing silibinin-loaded pomegranate oil-based nanocapsules (HP-NC SB) intending cutaneous application. The formulation anti-inflammatory activity in an in vivo model and biometric studies on the skin of healthy volunteers were also performed. The nanocapsules were prepared using the interfacial deposition of preformed polymer technique and the hydrogels were obtained by thickening of nanocapsules suspension with Pemulen® TR2. Formulations with free compound, vehicle and blank nanocapsules were also produced. The hydrogels were evaluated concerning pH, silibinin content, particle size, spreadability profile, rheology, in vitro drug release, cutaneous permeation, bioadhesive potential and cutaneous biometry evaluation. Furthermore, a model of contact dermatitis croton oil-induced in mice was performed to evaluate the hydrogels anti-inflammatory potential. The formulations presented adequate characteristics for skin administration: particle within nanometric size, pH values in the acid range, silibinin content close theoretical values (1 mg/g) and non-Newtonian pseudoplastic behavior. Nano-based hydrogels showed high bioadhesive properties, increased silibinin in vitro release profile and its retention in the stratum corneum. The best anti-inflammatory effect was exhibited by HP-NC SB, which reduced both ear edema and inflammatory cells infiltration in comparison to the induced group. Furthermore, cutaneous biometric evaluation showed that formulations containing free or nanoencapsulated silibinin caused no modification in normal skin conditions (pH, tissue hydration, transepidermal water loss and erythema). In summary, the results demonstrated that the Pemulen® TR2 hydrogel containing NC SB was successfully developed, indicating its potential as an alternative treatment for irritant contact dermatitis.