Escin is a natural saponin, clinically used for the anti-edematous and anti-inflammatory effects. The aim of the study was to explore the possibility of converting escin into vesicle bilayer-forming component. The hyaluronidase inhibition activity of escin was evaluated after its formulation in escinosomes. Berberine chloride, a natural quaternary isoquinoline alkaloid isolated from several medicinal plants that is traditionally used for various skin conditions was loaded in the vesicles. The developed nanovesicles were characterized in terms of diameter, polydispersity, ζ-potential, deformability, recovery, encapsulation efficiency, stability, and release kinetics. Nanovesicle permeation properties through artificial membranes and rabbit ear skin were investigated using skin-PAMPATM
and Franz cells were also evaluated. Escinosomes, made of phosphatidylcholine and escin, were loaded with berberine chloride. These nanovesicles displayed the best characteristics for skin application, particularly optimal polydispersity (0.17) and deformability, high negative ζ-potential value, great encapsulation efficiency (about 67%), high stability, and the best release properties of berberine chloride (about 75% after 24 h). In conclusion, escinosomes seem to be new vesicular carriers, capable to maintain escin properties such as hyaluronidase inhibition activity, and able to load other active molecules such as berberine chloride, in order to enhance or expand the activity of the loaded drug.
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