Faceted phospholipid vesicles tailored for the delivery of Santolina insularis essential oil to the skin
The aim of this work was to formulate Santolina insularis essential oil-loaded nanocarriers, namely Penetration Enhancer containing Vesicles (PEVs), evaluate the physico-chemical features and stability, and gain insights into their ability to deliver the oil to the skin. S. insularis essential oil was obtained by steam distillation, and was predominantly composed of terpenes, the most abundant being beta-phellandrene (22.6%), myrcene (11.4%) and curcumenes (12.1%). Vesicles were prepared using phosphatidylcholine, and ethylene or propylene glycol were added to the water phase (10% (v/v)) to improve vesicle performances as delivery systems. Vesicles were deeply characterized by light scattering, cryogenic transmission electron microscopy and small/wide-angle X-ray scattering, the results showing polyhedral, faceted, unilamellar vesicles of similar to 115 nm in size. The presence of the glycols improved vesicle stability under accelerated ageing conditions, without changes in size or migration phenomena (e.g. sedimentation and creaming). Confocal laser scanning microscopy images of pig skin treated with S. insularis formulations displayed a penetration ability of PEVs greater than that of control liposomes. Moreover, all formulations showed a marked in vitro biocompatibility in human keratinocytes. These findings suggest that the nanoformulati on may be of value in enhancing the delivery of S. insularis essential oil to the skin, where it can exert its biological activities. (c) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.