Cutaneous penetration of soft nanoparticles via photodamaged skin: Lipid-based and polymer-based nanocarriers for drug delivery

Chi Feng Hung, Wei Yu Chen, Ching Yun Hsu, Ibrahim A. Aljuffali, Hui Chi Shih, Jia You Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract Photoaging is recognized as the factor damaging skin-barrier function. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of ultraviolet (UV) irradiation on the cutaneous penetration of soft nanoparticles, including nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) and poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) polymer nanoparticles (PNs). In vitro cutaneous permeation of retinoic acid (RA) carried by nanoparticles was evaluated. In vivo nude mouse skin distribution of topically applied nanoparticles was observed by fluorescence and confocal microscopies. The association of nanoparticles with cultured keratinocytes was measured by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. The average diameter and surface charge were 236 nm and -32 mV for NLCs, and 207 nm and -12 mV for PNs. The ultrastructural images of skin demonstrated that the application of UV produced a loss of Odland bodies and desmosomes, the organelles regulating skin-barrier function. UVA exposure increased skin deposition of RA regardless of nanoparticle formulation. UVB did not alter RA deposition from nanoparticles as compared to the non-treated group. Exposure to UVA promoted RA delivery into hair follicles from NLCs and PNs by 4.2- and 4.9-fold, respectively. The in vivo skin distribution also showed a large accumulation of Nile red-loaded nanoparticles in follicles after UVA treatment. The soft nanoparticles were observed deep in the dermis. PNs with higher lipophilicity showed a greater association with keratinocytes compared to NLCs. The cell association of PNs was increased by UVA application, whereas the association between NLCs and keratinocytes was reduced two times by UVA. It was concluded that both follicles and intercellular spaces were the main pathways for nanoparticle diffusion into photodamaged skin.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11934
Pages (from-to)94-105
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Cutaneous penetration
  • Lipid nanoparticle
  • Photodamage
  • Polymer nanoparticle
  • Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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