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Nanoscale tracking of invasomes in the stratum corneum

8 Aug | By Volker Deckert

When administering drugs, the human body has several barriers, a drug has to pass to reach the preferred site of action. For percutaneous application, this barrier is stratum corneum. Frequently, liposomal formulations are used to increase the drug’s penetration through the skin. Up to now, the exact mechanism of drug penetration is not fully understood. Partly, this is due to the fact that liposomes are beyond the standard resolution of optical microscopes and are chemically very similar to cell membranes. In a recent study, researchers from the Leibniz-IPHT/Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena around Prof. Deckert in collaboration with Dr. Mukul Ashtikar (now Fraunhofer IME, Frankfurt) and Prof. Fahr (Pharmacy, FSU Jena), applied tip-enhanced Raman scattering (TERS) to improve the understanding of how the stratum corneum and topically applied invasomes (liposomal systems) interact.

TERS provides direct structural information at a nanometer scale without the need of further labelling. To adapt this technique for tissue specimen, a sample preparation technique was specifically developed and calibrated. Additionally, invasome specific head group deuterated phospholipids were employed, to facilitate the identification of topically applied liposomal phospholipids in the stratum corneum. The results of the study provide a strong spectroscopic evidence and high-resolution images showing intact invasome vesicles in the stratum corneum

The research was published recently in Biochemical et Biophysica Acta (BBA) General subjects


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