Tinea are superficial fungal infections caused by dermatophytes. Luliconazole exhibits highest antifungal activity against Trichophyton spp. which are major causative agents of dermatophytosis. However, luliconazole suffers from drawbacks such as less skin retention, low aqueous solubility and poor skin penetration. To overcome the limitations of luliconazole, nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) were formulated. NLCs are better permeation enhancers as they increase skin occlusion and hydration. The selection of various lipids and surfactants was based on the solubility of luliconazole in these components. Luliconazole NLC dispersion was prepared by hot melt emulsification technique followed by probe sonication. The dispersion was incorporated into a gel composed of Sepineo P 600 under magnetic stirring. in vitro antifungal studies were carried out with optimized luliconazole NLC gel, marketed luliconazole cream and control (luliconazole in gel base) against pathogenic Trichophyton rubrum. Ex-vivo diffusion study demonstrated that NLCs incorporated into gel exhibited greater retention on skin. In-vivo skin irritancy study showed no signs of erythema or edema post 24, 48, and 72 h at site of application. In comparison with marketed cream and based on the zone of inhibition diameters, NLC formulation was found to be very effective against Trichophyton rubrum.
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