Solid Lipid Nanoparticles Loaded with Retinoic Acid and Lauric Acid as an Alternative for Topical Treatment of Acne Vulgaris

J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2015 Jan;15(1):792-9. doi: 10.1166/jnn.2015.9184.


Topical therapy is the first choice for the treatment of mild to moderate acne and all-trans retinoic acid is one of the most used drugs. The combination of retinoids and antimicrobials is an innovative approach for acne therapy. Recently, lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid, has shown strong antimicrobial activity against Propionibacterium acnes. However, topical application of retinoic acid is followed by high incidence of side-effects, including erythema and irritation. Solid lipid nanoparticles represent an alternative to overcome these side-effects. This work aims to develop solid lipid nanoparticles loaded with retinoic acid and lauric acid and evaluate their antibacterial activity. The influence of lipophilic stearylamine on the characteristics of solid lipid nanoparticles was investigated. Solid lipid nanoparticles were characterized for size, zeta potential, encapsulation efficiency, differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction. The in vitro inhibitory activity of retinoic acid-lauric acid-loaded solid lipid nanoparticles was evaluated against Propionibacterium acnes, Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. High encapsulation efficiency was obtained at initial time (94 ± 7% and 100 ± 4% for retinoic acid and lauric acid, respectively) and it was demonstrated that lauric acid-loaded-solid lipid nanoparticles provided the incorporation of retinoic acid. However, the presence of stearylamine is necessary to ensure stability of encapsulation. Moreover, retinoic acid-lauric acid-loaded solid lipid nanoparticles showed growth inhibitory activity against Staphylococcus epidermidis, Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus aureus, representing an interesting alternative for the topical therapy of acne vulgaris.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris*
  • Administration, Topical
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Drug Stability
  • Lauric Acids / chemistry
  • Lauric Acids / pharmacology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Particle Size
  • Propionibacterium acnes / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus / drug effects
  • Tretinoin / chemistry
  • Tretinoin / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Lauric Acids
  • lauric acid
  • Tretinoin