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Polymersome macromolecule delivery across intact human skin

C. Pegoraro, S. MacNeil, G. Battaglia
University Of Sheffield, UK

Keywords: drug delivery, transdermal, polymersomes


Skin is a highly stratified and impermeable tissue that confers specific size, charge, hydrophilic and lipophilic constraints on the types of molecules that can diffuse across it. Here we report the use of a novel drug delivery vehicle based on flexible and tough nano-sized polymeric vesicles (otherwise known as polymersomes) formed from high molecular weight, amphiphilic, pH-sensitive block copolymers. These polymersomes transport high molecular weight dextran efficiently across both a synthetic polycarbonate porous barrier and intact human skin without losing mechanical stability (as confirmed by Dynamic light Scattering, DLS). For polycarbonate membranes, the efficiency of dextran delivery via polymersomes was 60.0% compared to only 33.0% for free dextran. For human skin, delivery of dextran-loaded polymersomes was 27.0% compared to only 4.3% for free dextran. Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy was used to confirm the diffusion of polymersomes across skin and the delivery of dextran.
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