Development and evaluation of topical films containing phytoestrogenic diaryheptanoids from Curcuma comosa extract

Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2018 Aug;44(8):1385-1394. doi: 10.1080/03639045.2018.1453518. Epub 2018 Mar 26.


Rational: Phytoestrogens have been found to delay signs of skin aging in post-menopausal women, in a way similar to the effects of estrogens. Diarylheptanoids from a rhizome of traditional Thai herb named Curcuma comosa is considered to be a novel class of phytoestrogens.

Objectives: The aims of this study were to prepare effective topical films using mixed types and vary ratios of hydrophobic (Eudragit RL, Eudragit RS, and Eudragit NE) and hydrophilic polymer (hydroxylpropyl methycellulose, HPMC) with Transcutol as a permeation enhancer for delivery of diarylheptanoids to improve signs of skin aging in post-menopausal women.

Material and methods: Topical films were characterized for their physical and mechanical properties. In vitro release, skin permeation and accumulation were evaluated using Franz diffusion cell and the concentrations of diarylheptanoids were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography.

Results: The combined formulations between HPMC and Eudragit NE showed the satisfactory physical and mechanical properties, and also provided the highest amount of drug released compared to Eudragit RL and Eudragit RS. When the proportion of HPMC amount in the polymer matrix increased, the cumulative drug release also increased (HPMC: Eudragit NE 6:4 > 5:5 > 4:6). Moreover, they provided a high accumulation of diarylheptanoids within skin when using transcutol as a permeation enhancer.

Conclusion: The obtained data provided the skin permeation and accumulation behavior of diarylheptanoids, indicating the feasibility of a skin delivery of the C. comosa extract. The developed films might be topically used as an alternative therapy for protection of skin aging in peri and post-menopausal women.

Keywords: Curcuma comosa; diarylheptanoids; phytoestrogen; skin aging; topical film.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Animals
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Curcuma / chemistry*
  • Diarylheptanoids / pharmacology*
  • Diffusion
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry*
  • Drug Liberation
  • Ethylene Glycols / chemistry
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Perimenopause
  • Permeability
  • Phytoestrogens / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Postmenopause
  • Rhizome / chemistry
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Swine


  • Diarylheptanoids
  • Drug Carriers
  • Ethylene Glycols
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polymers
  • carbitol