Introduction: Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight is the common cause for skin aging, premalignant
skin lesions as well as melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer. Most skin cancers can be prevented
by avoiding prolonged direct exposure to the sun or by treating the skin with antioxidants before
sun exposure. Evidence demonstrates that natural compounds with anticancer properties may play a
crucial role in cancer prevention, growth and progression. Vitamin E (VitE) was shown to possess antitumor
activity in the skin with its skin barrier-stabilizing properties and protection against UV-induced
skin photodamage through a combination of antioxidant and UV absorptive properties. In this study, we
developed and investigated the potential of VitE encapsulation in monoolein and poloxamer-based
cubosomes in topical administration. Physicochemical characterization and stability studies were evaluated
to better predict their performance when applied to in vitro and in vivo studies.
Materials and Methods: Cubosomes were prepared by the hydration of the thin lipid film. The particle
sizes, polydispersity index, zeta potential were obtained by dynamic light scattering and the encapsulation
degree by ultrafiltration process. Physical stability of the Cubosomes nanodispersions obtained
herein were evaluated under accelerated conditions (low, high and room temperature) for 40 days while
in vitro release, permeation and skin retention by Franz diffusion cell.
Results: The formulations containing with or without VitE displayed homogeneous appearance, with
sizes in the nano-range (around 200 nm), and low polydispersity index. There was no statistical difference
between cubosomes only and VitE incorporated cubosomes (0.2 mg/g). The encapsulation degree
of VitE in cubosomes was approximately 100%. The cubosomes were physically stable for 40 days
even under semi-harsh conditions. VitE skin permeation studies showed increased VitE in the deeper
layers of the skin, which is important for the success of the topical skin cancer treatment and prevention.
Conclusion: Based on the physicochemical characteristics of the monoolein and poloxamer-based
cubosomes nanodispersion results, we believe that cubosomes are potential delivery systems for topical
administration of VitE. Further studies using melanoma cells line and animal cutaneous cancer models
will be performed to verify VitE-loaded cubosomes nanodispersion treatment and efficacy.