Niosomal 5-Flourouracil gel for effective treatment of skin cancer; In-vitro and In-vivo evaluation

Ahmed Abdelbary, Heba F Salem, Rasha AbdelSalam Khallaf


This study was designated to form core-enriched 5-flourouracil (5-FU) niosomes and apply it to skin as a niosomal gel for topical treatment of skin cancer. Different molar ratios of the two surfactants used namely; sorbitan monostearate (Span 60), sorbitan monolaurate (Span 20) to cholesterol were employed, in addition; sodium deoxycholate was used a co-surfactant. The drug was successfully entrapped in niosomes with entrapment efficiency reached up to 67.08 ± 2.53 mg % (w/w). The produced niosomes had particle size below 300 nm, zeta potential values between -15 ± -1.6 and -37.73 ± -2.53 mV and polydispersity index between 0.09 ± 0.06 and 0.20 ± 0.02. Transmission electron microscopy showed the formation of spherical niosomes with closed bilayer structure. Formula N8 had more than two fold increase in amount permeated compared to free drug in in-vitro permeation study. The niosomal gel formulae had better permeation parameters compared to formulae containing free drug. Niosomal gel formula composed of sodium carboxymethyle cellulose (Na CMC) had the best permeation parameters among the produced gel formulae. Histopathological studies showed that niosomal 5-FU gel was able to penetrate more readily into deep layers of skin to treat tumor as indicated by the reduction in inflammatory reaction and hemorrhage signs observed in animals treated by niosomal 5-FU gel. 

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