Non-ionic surfactant based vesicular drug delivery system for topical delivery of caffeine for treatment of cellulite: design, formulation, characterization, histological anti-cellulite activity, and pharmacokinetic evaluation

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© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Cellulite is a common topographical alteration where skin acquires an orange peel or mattress appearance with alterations in adipose tissue and microcirculation. This work aims to develop and evaluate a topical niosomal gel formulae with good permeation to reach the subcutaneous fat layer. Several caffeine niosomal dispersions were prepared and incorporated into gel formulae using Carbopol 940 polymer, chemical penetration enhancers, and iontophoresis, then the prepared gels were applied onto the skin of rats and anticellulite activity of caffeine from the prepared gels compared to that of the commercial product Cellu Destock® was evaluated by histological study of the skin and measurement of plasma level of caffeine passing through the skin using liquid chromatography (LC/MS–MS). Results of histology revealed reduction of size and thickness of fatty layer of rat skin in the following order: FVII > FXIV > Cellu Destock® > FVII + Iontophoresis > FXIV + Iontophoresis. Pharmacokinetic results of caffeine in plasma revealed that Cmax, Tmax, and AUC0–12h decreased in the following order: FXIV > FVII > Cellu Destock®. These results conclude that incorporation of caffeine niosomal dispersion into gel matrix with penetration enhancers and iontophoresis resulted in improvement in penetration of caffeine through the skin into the underlying fatty layer in treatment of cellulite.

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