Influence of omega fatty acids on skin permeation of a coenzyme Q10 nanoemulsion cream formulation: characterization, in silico and ex vivo determination

Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2019 Sep;45(9):1451-1458. doi: 10.1080/03639045.2019.1628042. Epub 2019 Jun 20.


Objective: The aim of this study was to develop a coenzyme Q10 nanoemulsion cream, characterize and to determine the influence of omega fatty acids on the delivery of coenzyme Q10 across model skin membrane via ex vivo and in silico techniques. Methods: Coenzyme Q10 nanoemulsion creams were prepared using natural edible oils such as linseed, evening primrose, and olive oil. Their mechanical features and ability to deliver CoQ10 across rat skin were characterized. Computational docking analysis was performed for in silico evaluation of CoQ10 and omega fatty acid interactions. Results: Linseed, evening primrose, and olive oils each produced nano-sized emulsion creams (343.93-409.86 nm) and exhibited excellent rheological features. The computerized docking studies showed favorable interactions between CoQ10 and omega fatty acids that could improve skin permeation. The three edible-oil nanoemulsion creams displayed higher ex vivo skin permeation and drug flux compared to the liquid-paraffin control cream. The linseed oil formulation displayed the highest skin permeation (3.97 ± 0.91 mg/cm2) and drug flux (0.19 ± 0.05 mg/cm2/h). Conclusion: CoQ10 loaded-linseed oil nanoemulsion cream displayed the highest skin permeation. The highest permeation showed by linseed oil nanoemulsion cream may be due to the presence of omega-3, -6, and -9 fatty acids which might serve as permeation enhancers. This indicated that the edible oil nanoemulsion creams have potential as drug vehicles that enhance CoQ10 delivery across skin.

Keywords: Nanoemulsion; evening primrose oil; linseed oil; olive oil; omega-fatty acids; permeation enhancer.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Animals
  • Computer Simulation
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry*
  • Drug Compounding
  • Emulsions
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / chemistry*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Permeability
  • Rats
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin Absorption
  • Skin Cream / administration & dosage
  • Skin Cream / pharmacokinetics*
  • Ubiquinone / administration & dosage
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / pharmacokinetics


  • Drug Carriers
  • Emulsions
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10