Acne Treatment May Be Improved With Nanoparticle Delivery
Australian scientists may have found an effective treatment for acne, delivered via tiny nanoparticles.
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It’s a skin disorder that makes life miserable for around 800 million teenagers and adults worldwide, but Australian scientists may have found an effective treatment for acne, delivered via tiny nanoparticles.
In a study led by the University of South Australia (UniSA), a new antibacterial compound known as Narasin was encased in tiny, soft nanoparticles 1000 times smaller than a single strand of human hair and applied in a gel form to targeted acne sites.
The drug – more commonly used in the livestock industry – proved successful against drug-resistant acne bacteria and delivered via nanocarriers achieved a 100-fold increase in absorption than simply taken with water.
Lead author UniSA PhD student Fatima Abid says this is the first time that nano-micelle formulations of Narasin have been developed and trialled.
“Acne severely impacts approximately 9.4% of the world’s population, mainly adolescents, and causes distress, embarrassment, anxiety, low self-confidence and social isolation among sufferers,” Abid says.
“Although there are many oral medications prescribed for acne, they have a range of detrimental side effects, and many are poorly water soluble, which is why most patients and clinicians prefer topical treatments.”
Abid’s supervisor, pharmaceutical scientist Professor Sanjay Garg, says a combination of increasing antibiotic resistance and the ineffectiveness of many topical drugs to penetrate hair follicles in acne sites means there is a pressing need to develop new antibacterial therapies that are effective and safe.
Narasin is commonly used for bacterial infections in livestock but has never been previously investigated as a viable treatment for acne.
Abid, Prof Garg and researchers from UniSA, the University of Adelaide, and Aix-Marseille Université in France also investigated how well Narasin encased in nanoparticles penetrated various layers of skin, using pig’s ear skin as a model.
“The micelle formulation was effective in delivering Narasin to acne targets sites, as opposed to the compound solution which failed to permeate through skin layers,” Prof Garg says.
Reference: Abid F, Savaliya B, Parikh A, et al. Nanotechnology and narasin: a powerful combination against acne. Nanoscale. 2023;15(33):13728-13739. doi: 10.1039/D3NR01789C
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