Enhanced topical delivery of dexamethasone by β-cyclodextrin decorated thermoresponsive nanogels†
Highly hydrophilic, responsive nanogels are attractive as potential systems for the topical delivery of bioactives encapsulated in their three-dimensional polymeric scaffold. Yet, these drug carrier systems suffer from drawbacks for efficient delivery of hydrophobic drugs. Addressing this, β-cyclodextrin (βCD) could be successfully introduced into the drug carrier systems by exploiting its unique affinity toward dexamethasone (DXM) as well as its role as topical penetration enhancer. The properties of βCD could be combined with those of thermoresponsive nanogels (tNGs) based on dendritic polyglycerol (dPG) as a crosslinker and linear thermoresponsive polyglycerol (tPG) inducing responsiveness to temperature changes. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) studies localized the drug within the hydrophobic cavity of βCD by differences in its mobility and environmental polarity. In fact, the fabricated carriers combining a particulate delivery system with a conventional penetration enhancer, resulted in an efficient delivery of DXM to the epidermis and the dermis of human skin ex vivo (enhancement compared to commercial DXM cream: ∼2.5 fold in epidermis, ∼30 fold in dermis). Furthermore, DXM encapsulated in βCD tNGs applied to skin equivalents downregulated the expression of proinflammatory thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and outperformed a commercially available DXM cream.