Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) has emerged as a helpful technique both to characterize drug delivery systems and to study their interactions with bio-membranes. In this work, we compared idebenone (IDE)-loaded solid lipid nanoparticle (SLN) interactions with bio-membranes assessed by DSC with previous in vitro skin penetration data to evaluate the feasibility of predicting IDE skin penetration using DSC analyses. In vitro interactions experiments were performed using multi-lamellar liposomes as a model of bio-membrane. Enthalpy changes (ΔH) and transition temperature (Tm) were assessed during nine repeated DSC scans to evaluate IDE-loaded SLN⁻bio-membrane interactions over time. Analyzing ΔH and Tm values for each scan, we observed that the difference of ΔH and Tm values between the first and the last scan seemed to be related to SLN ability to locate IDE in the epidermis and in the stratum corneum, respectively. Therefore, the results of this study suggest the possibility of qualitatively predicting in vitro IDE skin penetration from IDE-loaded SLN utilizing the calorimetric parameters obtained from interaction experiments between the carriers under investigation and a model of bio-membrane.
Keywords: bio-membrane interactions; differential scanning calorimetry; idebenone; in vitro; skin penetration; solid lipid nanoparticles.