The aim of the present study was to prepare and characterize novel vesicular carrier elastic liposomes, of most commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent diclofenac for its sustained and targeted delivery. Elastic liposomes of diclofenac were prepared and characterized in vitro and in vivo. The effect of different formulation variables like type of surfactant, concentration of surfactant and dose of drug on transdermal flux, amount of drug deposited into the skin, muscle and plasma concentration was investigated. The biological activity of optimized formulation was evaluated using carrageenan induced rat paw edema model and results were compared with commercial hydrogel formulation. The elastic liposomal formulations achieved muscle drug concentration between 2.2 ± 0.14 to 5.3 ± 0.22 μg/g at 12hr. The same dose of commercial hydrogel formulation produced drug levels between 0.41 ± 0.07 to 1.1 ± 0.09 μg/g in the muscle. Plasma concentration study showed regiospecificity of elastic liposomal formulation. The results of in vivo study revealed that incorporation of diclofenac in elastic liposomes increased its biological activity two fold as compared to commercial hydrogel formulation. The results of the present study demonstrated greater effectiveness of dermaly applied diclofenac elastic liposomal formulation in comparison to conventional delivery system. The optimized elastic liposomal formulation offers a promising means for the non-invasive treatment of local pain and inflammation by topical application.
Keywords: skin, percutaneous absorption, elastic liposomes, sustained, targeted, transdermal delivery, Biological activity, regiospecificity
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