Abstract: Transdermal delivery is an attractive option for drug delivery. Nevertheless, the skin is a tough barrier and only a limited number of drugs can be delivered through it. The most difficult to deliver are hydrophilic drugs. The stinging mechanism of the cnidarians is a sophisticated injection system consisting of microcapsular nematocysts, which utilize built-in high osmotic pressures to inject a submicron tubule that penetrates and delivers their contents to the prey. Here we show, for the first time, that the nematocysts of the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis can be isolated and incorporated into a topical formulation for continuous drug delivery. We demonstrate quantitative delivery of nicotinamide and lidocaine hydrochloride as a function of microcapsular dose or drug exposure. We also show how the released submicron tubules can be exploited as a skin penetration enhancer prior to and independently of drug application. The microcapsules are non-irritant and may offer an attractive alternative for hydrophilic transdermal drug delivery.
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Tal, Y.; Ayalon, A.; Sharaev, A.; Kazir, Z.; Brekhman, V.; Lotan, T. Continuous Drug Release by Sea Anemone Nematostella vectensis Stinging Microcapsules. Mar. Drugs 2014, 12, 734-745.
Tal Y, Ayalon A, Sharaev A, Kazir Z, Brekhman V, Lotan T. Continuous Drug Release by Sea Anemone Nematostella vectensis Stinging Microcapsules. Marine Drugs. 2014; 12(2):734-745.
Tal, Yossi; Ayalon, Ari; Sharaev, Agnesa; Kazir, Zoya; Brekhman, Vera; Lotan, Tamar. 2014. "Continuous Drug Release by Sea Anemone Nematostella vectensis Stinging Microcapsules." Mar. Drugs 12, no. 2: 734-745.