In vitro anti-propionibacterium activity by curcumin containing vesicle system

Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2013;61(4):419-25. doi: 10.1248/cpb.c12-01043.


Propionibacterium acnes acts a critical role in the development of inflammatory acne when it overgrows in pilosebaceous units. The spread of multiple drug resistance bacteria indicates a growing need for new antimicrobial agents. The objective of this study is to develop lipid vehicles to deliver curcumin and inhibit P. acnes in the skin. The inhibitory activities of the curcumin containing vehicles against P. acnes were studied by the bioluminescence assay. Curcumin accumulation patterns in neonate pig skin were studied using Franz diffusion cells and confocal laser scanning microscopy. The physicochemical properties of the curcumin containing vehicles including interfacial tension, size distribution and viscosity were analyzed. Significant curcumin accumulation (362±8 µg/g skin) was observed with the lipid vehicles developed herein. Curcumin (0.43 µg/mL) in the vehicles significantly inhibited the growth of P. acnes. Confocal laser scanning microscopy confirmed the formation of curcumin reservoir in the skin by the curcumin-loaded vehicles. Curcumin-loaded vehicles could efficiently accumulate in the skin and inhibit P. acnes in vitro. Our results highlight the potential of using vehicles containing lauric acid and curcumin as an alternative treatment for acne vulgaris.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Curcumin / chemistry*
  • Curcumin / pharmacology
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lauric Acids / chemistry
  • Liposomes / chemistry*
  • Particle Size
  • Propionibacterium acnes / drug effects
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin Absorption
  • Surface Tension
  • Swine
  • Viscosity


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Lauric Acids
  • Liposomes
  • lauric acid
  • Curcumin