Nanotechnology and narasin: a powerful combination against acne
Acne vulgaris is widely regarded as the most prevalent skin disorder characterized by painful, inflammatory skin lesions that are primarily attributed to the pathogenic actions of Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes). To improve the clinical management of this disease, there is a pressing clinical demand to develop innovative antibacterial therapies that utilize novel mechanisms. The current research aimed to discover the antibacterial efficacy of narasin (NAR), a polyether ionophore, against drug-resistant acne bacteria. In addition, the study aimed to formulate self-nanomicellizing solid dispersions (SNMSD), utilizing Soluplus® (SOL), as a drug delivery system to incorporate NAR and selectively target the lipophilic C. acnes abundant environments within the skin. Furthermore, the study aimed to investigate the ex vivo deposition and permeation of NAR into the various layers of the skin using full-thickness porcine ear skin as a model skin. By encapsulating NAR within spherical polymeric micelles (dn < 80 nm) aqueous solubility was significantly increased by approximately 100-fold (from <40 μg mL−1 to 4600 μg mL−1). Following optimization, the micelle solution was integrated into a gel formulation (containing 0.2% w/v NAR) and evaluated for stability over 4 weeks at room temperature (drug content >98%). Results from drug deposition and permeation experiments demonstrated that the deposition of NAR from the NAR-micelle solution and its gel formulation into the lipophilic stratum corneum (19 835.60 ± 6237.89 ng cm−2 and 40 601.14 ± 3736.09 ng cm−2) and epidermis (19 347 ± 1912.98 ng cm−2 and 18 763.54 ± 580.77 ng cm−2) was superior to that of NAR in solution, which failed to penetrate any skin layers. In conclusion, the outcomes of this study provide evidence that NAR exhibits promising activity against antimicrobial resistant strains of C. acnes (MIC range ≤0.008–0.062) and that micelle nanocarriers can improve the aqueous solubility of poorly water-soluble drugs. Furthermore, our results highlight the ability of nanomicelles to enable selective and targeted drug delivery to the lipophilic skin layers.