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Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12010044

Raman Microspectroscopy as a Tool to Elucidate the Efficacy of Topical Formulations Containing Curcumin

1
São Carlos Institute of Physics, University of São Paulo, Trabalhador Sao-carlense Av., 400, São Carlos, SP 13566-590, Brazil
2
PDT Pharma Ind. Com. Pharmaceutical Products LTDA, Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca Str., 67, Cravinhos, SP 14140-000, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 17 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 23 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photodynamic Therapy 2019)
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Abstract

The success of the onychomycosis treatment is directly associated with factors such as the choice of the medication, the administration route, and the pharmaceutical formulation. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an emerging and promising technique indicated for onychomycosis treatment. For this application, the main challenge is the efficient delivery of the photosensitizer (PS). Curcumin is widely used as a PS, however it is an unstable molecule and it is a challenge to develop a formulation with good penetration into the nail plate, maintaining the stability of curcumin. In this study, the molecular mechanisms underlying the efficacy of two topical formulations containing curcumin used in a clinical trial for onychomycosis treatment were analyzed by Raman microspectroscopy. It is shown that curcumin is present in both formulations in aggregated and non-aggregated states, and in aggregates it is present in different conformations, depending on the interaction with the solvent. This proves to be critical for efficient and uniform PS delivery to the nail and its complete use during the treatment. These analyses are showing how promising Raman microspectroscopy is in understanding the molecular mechanisms of the efficiency of photosensitizers and are helping to improve the development of pharmaceutical formulations. View Full-Text
Keywords: Raman microspectroscopy; photodynamic therapy; onychomycosis; curcumin; photosensitizer; drug delivery; topical pharmaceutical formulation Raman microspectroscopy; photodynamic therapy; onychomycosis; curcumin; photosensitizer; drug delivery; topical pharmaceutical formulation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Iermak, I.; da Silva, A.P.; Kurachi, C.; Bagnato, V.S.; Inada, N.M. Raman Microspectroscopy as a Tool to Elucidate the Efficacy of Topical Formulations Containing Curcumin. Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12, 44.

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