Charged Vesicles for Delivering Actives in Surfactant-based Formulations

Mar 1, 2007 | Contact Author | By: Daniel H. Traynor and Martin S. Flacks, Aquea Scientific
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Title: Charged Vesicles for Delivering Actives in Surfactant-based Formulations
active ingredientsx delivery systemsx surfactantsx personal care technologyx sol-gelx
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Keywords: active ingredients | delivery systems | surfactants | personal care technology | sol-gel

Abstract: The delivery of active ingredients in surfactants has long been a challenge due to the inability of such ingredients to stay affixed to the skin and hair after rinse-off. One solution is a delivery system that enables the encapsulation of actives in charged vesicles.

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Methods of active ingredient delivery for the personal care industry have undergone numerous improvements and advancements in recent years. Yet, one of the most enduring challenges has been how to deliver active components efficaciously in a wash-off personal care product that won’t be removed by surfactants. The primary obstacle to achieving this has been in finding a method that will allow active ingredients to be attracted to the skin and, if necessary, penetrate slowly.

Throughout the years, advances in technology have enabled ten-fold improvements in delivery, which is evident in the polymer science currently being employed for body washes, face washes and other surfactant-based systems; however, these advancements have proven insufficient for delivery of active ingredients with the same ease and efficacy that can be realized through delivery by wash-off products. In today’s fast-paced society, where consumers continue to demand innovations that enhance convenience, there is a need for technology that can deliver a two-in-one benefit such as the effective delivery of active ingredients in a surfactant-based formulation.

Charged Vesicles 

The described need can be met by taking advantage of the fact that active ingredients contained within a cationic molecular complex will attract to skin and hair and cannot be readily washed off. To accomplish this, a component must be found in that complex to facilitate attachment. 

Fortunately, researchers have developed many types of vesicles that can withstand the surfactant environment and efficiently deliver the desired charge to achieve attachment. Charged molecules can offer electrostatic properties in proper environments, while polymers, as well as acids or even surfactants, can sometimes offer this convenience for certain delivery systems.

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Table 1. Correlation of deposition

Table 1. Correlation of deposition

Correlation of deposition by leave-on formulations and wash-on formulations, as indicated by SPF and compared to a standard sunscreen formulation. The data is extracted from numerous documented clinical studies performed according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sunscreen monograph.5

Figure 1. Actives can be delivered through encapsulation

Figure 1. Actives can be deliveredthrough encapsulation

Actives can be delivered in a surfactant medium through encapsulation in positively charged vesicles, providing greater attachment to negatively charged skin and hair.

pH and Substantivity

Lower pH relates to a greater cationic charge, which also means greater substantivity to the negatively charged skin. Higher pH, nearing neutral, can influence the positively charged vesicle to lose its charge or exhibit a drop in zeta potential. The final pH of the system should be from 4.0 to 6.5 for best results. Highly alkaline pH may cause precipitation.

Footnotes [Traynor 122(3)]

a Wash-On is an open platform delivery system using technology patented by Aquea Scientific Corp., Ventura, Calif., USA.

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