Nanoemulsions vs. Emulsions in the Delivery of Coenzyme Q10 and Tocopheryl Acetate

Apr 1, 2011 | Contact Author | By: Thanaporn Amnuaikit, Wiwat Pichayakorn and Prapaporn Boonme, Prince of Songkla University
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Title: Nanoemulsions vs. Emulsions in the Delivery of Coenzyme Q10 and Tocopheryl Acetate
coenzyme Q10x tocopheryl acetatex skin penetrationx nanoemulsionsx emulsionsx
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Keywords: coenzyme Q10 | tocopheryl acetate | skin penetration | nanoemulsions | emulsions

Abstract: This article compares the ability of mixed emulsifier nanoemulsions and polysorbate 60 emulsions to deliver coenzyme Q10 and tocopheryl acetate into the skin. In vitro skin penetration data shows that in newborn pig skin, nanoemulsions can deliver higher amounts of both actives than emulsions.

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Nanoemulsions vs. Emulsions in the Delivery of Coenzyme Q10 and Tocopheryl Acetate

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The most important and well-known theory about skin aging is the free radical theory proposed by Harman.1 Reactive oxygen species such as superoxide radicals and hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radicals cause oxidative damage to cellular macromolecules, e.g., proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, etc.2 It has been reported that the appearance of the skin is directly related to its antioxidant concentration—i.e., volunteers with higher concentrations of antioxidants in their skin appeared younger, with regard to furrows and wrinkles.3 Therefore, cosmetic scientists are challenged to develop skin care products that deliver antioxidants into the skin.

Coenzyme Q10 and tocopheryl acetate are well-known antioxidants often used in cosmetic products as anti-aging agents.4, 5 Tocopheryl acetate is an ester that can be converted by enzymes in the skin to α-tocopherol, an active antioxidant.6 Moreover, coenzyme Q10 is reported to protect α-tocopherol from photooxidation via a recycling mechanism.7 Incorporation of these two actives into one product can thus provide synergistic anti-aging activity.8

The objective of the present study was therefore to compare the ability of nanoemulsions and emulsions to deliver coenzyme Q10 and tocopheryl acetate into the skin. Further, since additives such as moisturizers—the mainstay for dry, flaky skin treatments—are necessary in anti-aging products, some test formulations also included rice bran oil, cetyl alcohol, glyceryl stearate and a plant extract blend to provide such a benefit. However, because the plant extract blend was fairly new and composed of several chemicals extracted from Asian plants, its effects on the physicochemical and skin penetration properties of formulations were also evaluated.

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Table 1. Compositions of the studied formulations

Table 1. Compositions of the studied formulations

Nanoemulsions and emulsions containing 0.025% w/w coenzyme Q10, 0.25% w/w tocopheryl acetate, with or without mixed plant extract as a moisturizer, were formulated as shown in Table 1.

Table 2. Amounts of actives in the skin (1.77 cm2) after application of each formulation (12 hr; n = 3)

Table 2. Amounts of actives in the skin (1.77 cm<sup>2</sup>) after application of each formulation (12 hr; n = 3)

Table 2 presented that the amounts of delivered coenzyme Q10 into the skin ranged as NE1 > NE2 > EM2 ≈ EM1, while those of tocopheryl acetate ranged as NE1 > NE2 > EM1 > EM2.

Table 3. Physical stability of NE1 and EM1 in various conditions (n = 3)

Table 3. Physical stability of NE1 and EM1 in various conditions (n = 3)

As Table 3 shows, the particle size of the nanoemulsions was in the range of 50–119 nm and that of the emulsions was in the range of 1709–1885 nm.

Table 4. Chemical stability of the contents of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and tocopheryl acetate (TA) in NE1 and EM1

Table 4. Chemical stability of the contents of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and tocopheryl acetate (TA) in NE1 and EM1

The amounts of actives in all formulations tended to decrease after being stored in the stability-tested conditions, as shown in Table 4.

Figure 1. HPLC chromatograms of coenzyme Q10

Figure 1. HPLC chromatograms of coenzyme Q10

a) methanol solution, b) extract of NE1, c) extract of the skin after application of NE1 for 12 hr, and d) receptor fluid at the end of permeation study

Figure 2. HPLC chromatograms of tocopheryl acetate

Figure 2. HPLC chromatograms of tocopheryl acetate

 a) methanol solution, b) extract of NE1, c) extract of the skin after application of NE1 for 12 hr, and d) receptor fluid at the end of permeation study

Footnotes (CT1104 Boonme)

a Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone) was obtained from All Well Industries Co. Ltd., Yier, China.
b Tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E acetate) was obtained from BASF Aktiengesellschaft, Arnhem, Netherlands.
c The mixed plant extract and mixed emulsifier system used in this study were provided by International Laboratories Co.. Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand.
d The Vortex G-560E is manufactured by Scientific Industries, Inc., USA.
e The HPLC system, consisting of a model LC-10ADvp pump, SIL-10ADvp auto injector, SPD-10Avp UV-VIS detector, and SCL-10Avp system controller, is manufactured by Shimadzu Co., Kyoto, Japan.
f The GL Science inertsil ODS C18 analytical column is manufactured by GL Sciences Inc., Tokyo.
g The pigs were freshly provided by a pig farm in Songkhla Province, regulated by the Department of Livestock Development, Thailand.
h The Polytron PT 1200E Generator PT-DA 1312/2EC is manufactured by Kinematica Inc., New York, USA.
j The centrifuge used for this study is manufactured by Hermle Z323K, Germany.
k The Savant Model A260 is manufactured by Speedvac, New York, USA.
m The Orion model 410A pH meter is manufactured by Thermo Fisher Scientific, Massachusetts, USA. n The Zetasizer Nanoseries model S4700 is manufactured by Malvern Instruments, Worcestershire, UK.

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