Layer-by-layer films containing emodin or emodin encapsulated in liposomes for transdermal applications
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Dermal drug release systems are an important area of research because they can be applied to the skin in a non-invasive procedure using a lower concentration of drugs. In this study, we have developed two types of Layer-by-Layer (LbL) films for releasing emodin (EM). In one system, EM was intercalated with poly(ethylenimine) PEI and poly(vinyl sufonate) (PVS) polyelectrolytes, forming (PEI/PVS)2(PEI/EM)7; in another, EM was incorporated in liposomes obtained by mixing dipalmitoyl phosphatidyl glycerol (DPPG) and palmitoyl oleoyl phosphatidyl glycerol (POPG) lipids, forming (PEI/PVS)2(PEI/DPPG-POPG-EM)7. UV–vis and FTIR spectroscopies were used to characterize the LbL films. These showed that the depositions of material by LbL were efficient, with increases in the absorbance of each bilayer evidencing the presence of EM in the film. The (PEI/PVS)2(PEI/EM)7 and (PEI/PVS)2(PEI/DPPG-POPG-EM)7 films released EM in three and five days, respectively. The cyclic voltammetry (CV) assay of the (PEI/PVS)2(PEI/EM)7 results are in agreement with UV–vis measurements, which suggest that EM was protonated in acid environments, while the CV of (PEI/PVS)2(PEI/DPPG-POPG-EM)7 demonstrated distinct protonation behaviour for EM within the inner liposome structure, even in acid solutions. Therefore, this study presents two systems based on LbL films and provides additional details about the release of EM from these films to create a viable alternative for transdermal applications.