A deteriorating nail standard is a growing problem as the global prevalence of diabetes is increasing. Systemic treatment with mineral supplements may not be recommended, mainly due to the high doses required to deliver optimal therapeutic concentrations. In this work, we evaluate nail polish formulations for the local delivery of strengthening elements to the nail plate. Specifically, we assess calcium and silicon release from nail polish base coat formulations containing three different concentrations of White Portland Cement to water, as well as to artificial and human nails. The delivery of calcium and silicon to the dorsal nail plate was determined by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy, and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing that such dual elemental delivery to human nails can be achieved from nail polish formulations. Hence, this work may form the basis for new inventions where therapeutic functionalities can be integrated with the mechanical and cosmetic properties of a base coat nail polish. Future permeability studies are required to verify long-term effects on the nail standard, induced by the formulations under study.
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