Novel iron oxide nanocarriers loading finasteride or dutasteride: Enhanced skin penetration for topical treatment of alopecia

Int J Pharm. 2020 Sep 25;587:119709. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2020.119709. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Abstract

In the present study, iron oxide nanoparticles, in the form of maghemite core coated with lauric acid (ION), were synthesized and loaded with finasteride (FIN) or dutasteride (DUT) as a novel drug delivery system for the topical treatment of alopecia. Additionally, developed formulations (FIN-ION and DUT-ION) were completely elaborated with components involved in the follicle metabolism, i.e., lauric acid, which acts as a 5α-reductase inhibitor, and iron which deficiency has been related to hair loss aggravation. Stability assessment conducted over the course of 90 days showed they are highly stable, with pH 7.4, constant EE% (>99%), and practically unchanged particle size and zeta potential. Besides drug distribution, the actual number of iron oxide nanoparticles, through a newly developed method using ferromagnetic resonance, was determined in each skin layer following permeation experiments. Despite the same donor concentration of colloids, nanoparticle distribution in the skin varied according to the loaded molecule. While DUT did not interfere with the nanoparticle natural tendency to accumulate within the hair follicle shafts, FIN presence hampered nanosystem interaction with the skin. Still, both formulations provided a higher skin drug penetration, compared to each respective control solution. Additionally, iron nanocarriers present a desirable visual characteristic, as the dark color aspect might instantly help disguise scarce hair follicle areas. These findings suggest the nanoformulations are highly promising for alopecia therapies.

Keywords: Alopecia; Dutasteride; Finasteride; Hair follicles; Metallic nanoparticles; Skin penetration.

MeSH terms

  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors
  • Alopecia* / drug therapy
  • Dutasteride
  • Ferric Compounds
  • Finasteride*
  • Humans

Substances

  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors
  • Ferric Compounds
  • ferric oxide
  • Finasteride
  • Dutasteride