Topical  formulations, design and drug delivery : "A dive into water"

Abstract: Water is a vital component regulating the properties of topical formulations and their interaction with biological barriers, such as skin and mucosa. Changing the watercontent within the frame of the pharmaceutical triangle will have a huge impact on which type of formulation, such as a cream, ointment, gel, or lotion, is formed, as well as the physical properties of the formulation. The composition of a formulation, and the subsequent reformulation after application, will govern the features of the residual film. This will in turn affect the barrier properties of the underlying tissue and consequently the penetration of various substances across skin or mucosa.The primary aim of this thesis has been to provide further understanding on differences between traditional surfactant-based formulations and particle-stabilized, Pickering, formulations and how specific excipients, like alcohols, emollients, and thickeners can affect their physical and/or sensorial properties. The secondary aim has been to gain more knowledge on the role of water in topical formulations and how it affects the properties of the underlaying tissue on application.By combining a portfolio of physicochemical techniques combined with sensory science, we have been able to identify differences between Pickering and surfactantstabilized formulations. Starch-based Pickering emulsions were perceived as less greasy and sticky than traditional creams, even at high oil content. Moreover, we were able develop a novel type of alcohol-based Pickering emulsion with combined moisturizing and antiseptic properties. We have also been able to link sensory attributes, evaluated by human volunteers, with physicochemical characterizations. Furthermore, the in vitro ForceBoard™ method was developed further and we evaluated its potential to be used as an ex vivo method using excised skin. In addition, we have shown that that the water gradient over a biological barrier has a general relevance with respect to drug absorption and should be considered not only in dermaldrug delivery but also for buccal and nasal drug delivery.

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