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Issue 42, 2012
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Bicellar systems to modify the phase behaviour of skin stratum corneum lipids

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Bicellar systems are a fascinating category of versatile lipid assemblies that comprise bilayered disk-shaped nanoaggregates formed in water by long and short alkyl chain phospholipids. Bicelles bridge the gap between micelles and lipid vesicles by combining the attractive properties of both systems. These structures have recently been proposed in dermatological, cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications. Two new binary bicellar systems composed of cholesterol sulphate (SCHOL) and long-chain phospholipids (dimyristoyl-phosphatidylcholine, DMPC, or dipalmitoyl-phosphatidylcholine, DPPC) are characterised herein by differential scanning calorimetry, fluorescence spectroscopy, X-ray scattering and microscopy. Additionally, a comparative study on skin treated with the new SCHOL systems (DMPC/SCHOL and DPPC/SCHOL) and classic DHPC systems (DMPC/DHPC and DPPC/DHPC) was performed. These studies were conducted to determinate how deeply bicelles penetrate into the skin and the extension of their effect on the phase behaviour of stratum corneum (SC) lipids using attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and two-photon excitation fluorescence microscopy. Our results show that SCHOL modified the typical discoidal morphology and the phase behaviour of the systems, inducing coexistence of two phases, liquid-ordered and ripple phases. The effect of the systems on SC lipids depends on their composition and is related to the fluidity of the SC lipid alkyl chains. Thus, systems with DMPC induced more disorder in SC lipids than systems with DPPC, and SCHOL did not modify the lipid arrangement. Perdeuterated systems in the infrared spectroscopy technique supported a different distribution in the tissue for every system. DMPC systems were primarily at the first layers of the SC, whereas DPPC systems were more widely distributed. Systems with SCHOL had enhanced distribution and penetration of bicellar systems throughout the SC.

Graphical abstract: Bicellar systems to modify the phase behaviour of skin stratum corneum lipids

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Apr 2012, accepted on 28 Aug 2012 and first published on 29 Aug 2012

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2CP42421E
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012,14, 14523-14533

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    Bicellar systems to modify the phase behaviour of skin stratum corneum lipids

    G. Rodríguez, M. Cócera, L. Rubio, C. Alonso, R. Pons, C. Sandt, P. Dumas, C. López-Iglesias, A. de la Maza and O. López, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012, 14, 14523
    DOI: 10.1039/C2CP42421E

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