Background: Transdermal administration of estradiol offers advantages over oral estrogens for hormone replacement therapy regarding side effects by bypassing the hepatic presystemic metabolism.
Aim: The objective of this study was to develop nanoparticles of Chondrosia reniformis sponge collagen as penetration enhancers for the transdermal drug delivery of 17beta-estradiol-hemihydrate in hormone replacement therapy.
Method: Collagen nanoparticles were prepared by controlled alkaline hydrolysis and characterized using atomic force microscopy and photon correlation spectroscopy. Estradiol-hemihydrate was loaded to the nanoparticles by adsorption to their surface, whereupon a drug loading up to 13.1% of sponge collagen particle mass was found. After incorporation of drug-loaded nanoparticles in a hydrogel, the estradiol transdermal delivery from the gel was compared with that from a commercial gel that did not contain nanoparticles.
Results: Saliva samples in postmenopausal patients showed significantly higher estradiol levels after application of the gel with nanoparticles. The area under the curve (AUC) for estradiol time-concentration curves over 24 hours was 2.3- to 3.4-fold higher and estradiol levels 24 hours after administration of estradiol were at least twofold higher with the nanoparticle gel.
Conclusions: The hydrogel with estradiol-loaded collagen nanoparticles enabled a prolonged estradiol release compared to a commercial gel and yielded a considerably enhanced estradiol absorption. Consequently, sponge collagen nanoparticles represent promising carriers for transdermal drug delivery.