Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) microspheres of ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (EHM) were prepared by emulsion solvent evaporation method to improve its photostability and effectiveness as sunscreening agent. Process parameters like stirring speed and aqueous polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) concentration were analyzed in order to optimize the formulations. Shape and surface morphology of the microspheres were examined using scanning electron microscopy. Particle size of the microspheres was determined using laser diffraction particle size analyzer. The PMMA microspheres of EHM were incorporated in water-removable cream base. The in vitro drug release of EHM in pH 7.4 was performed using dialysis membrane. Thin layer chromatography was performed to determine photostability of EHM inside the microspheres. The formulations were evaluated for sun protection factor (SPF) and minimum erythema dose (MED) in albino rats. Cream base formulation containing microspheres prepared using EHM: PMMA in ratio of 1:3 (C3) showed slowest drug (EHM) release and those prepared with EHM: PMMA in ratio of 1:1 showed fastest release. The cream base formulations containing EHM loaded microspheres had shown better SPF (more than 16.0) as compared to formulation Cd that contained 3% free EHM as sunscreen agent and showed SPF 4.66. These studies revealed that the incorporation of EHM loaded PMMA microspheres into cream base had greatly increased the efficacy of sunscreen formulation approximately four times. Further, photostability was also shown to be improved in PMMA microspheres.
Keywords: Microspheres, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Sunscreen efficacy, Photostability
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