A novel elastic liposome for skin delivery of papain and its application on hypertrophic scar

Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Mar:87:82-91. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2016.12.076. Epub 2016 Dec 29.


This study aims to investigate the therapeutic effects of papain elastic liposomes (PEL) on hypertrophic scar through topical application. PEL were prepared using the reverse-phase evaporation method and optimized by response surface methodology. The transdermal absorption of optimized PEL was tested by vertical Franz diffusion cells in vitro. The effects of PEL were investigated in rabbit model of hypertrophic scar in vivo, histological analysis and scar-related proteins were detected to reveal potential scar repair mechanism. The best formulation of PEL had EE (43.8±1.4%), particle size (100.9±2.2nm), PDI (0.037±0.003), zeta potential (-26.3±1.3mV), and DI (21.9±3.1). PEL gave the cumulative amounts and steady state fluxes in the receiver solution of 381.9±32.4μg/cm2, 11.4±1.5μg/cm2/h, and showed drug deposition in skin of 19.1±3.2% after 24h. After topical application, the scar elevation index, microvascular density, and collagen fiber were significantly decreased with regular arrangement. The expressions of TGF-β1, P-Smad-3, P-NF-κB p65, and P-IKBa in hypertrophic scar were significantly down regulated in contrast with those in model group. PEL were proven as an excellent topical preparation for hypertrophic scar treatment.

Keywords: Elastic liposomes; Hypertrophic scar; Papain; Transdermal absorption.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic / drug therapy*
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic / metabolism
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Elasticity*
  • Liposomes
  • Male
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Papain / administration & dosage*
  • Papain / metabolism
  • Rabbits
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / metabolism


  • Liposomes
  • Papain