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Portrait of Tommy Nylander. Photo: Kennet Ruona

Tommy Nylander


Portrait of Tommy Nylander. Photo: Kennet Ruona

Tuning lipid structure by bile salts: Hexosomes for topical administration of catechin


  • Marco Fornasier
  • Rosa Pireddu
  • Alessandra Del Giudice
  • Chiara Sinico
  • Tommy Nylander
  • Karin Schillén
  • Luciano Galantini
  • Sergio Murgia

Summary, in English

The delivery of bio-active molecules through the skin is challenging given the complex structure of its outer layer, the stratum corneum. Here we explore the possibility to encapsulate natural compounds into nanocarriers containing permeation enhancers that can affect the fluidity of the stratum corneum lipids. This approach is expected to facilitate dermal or transdermal release. For this purpose, the application of bile salts, which are natural surfactants involved in vivo in lipid digestion, was exploited.

Bile salts were added to lipid liquid crystalline nanoparticles (NPs) made of monoolein for antioxidant topical delivery. Monoolein self-assembly behaviour in water was affected by the presence of bile salts molecules, giving a transition from a bicontinuous cubic to unilamellar vesicles dispersion. By adding oleic acid (OA), the change of curvature in the system led to a reverse hexagonal phase. The morphology, structure and size of the nanocarriers was investigated before the nanoparticles were loaded with catechin, a natural antioxidant occurring in plants and food. The encapsulation did not affect significantly the formulation phase behaviour. The formulation loaded with bile salts and catechin was thereafter tested in vitro on the skin from new-born pig. The results for two different lipid formulations without bile salts were compared under the same experimental conditions and with the same antioxidant. The formulation with bile salts showed the best performance, allowing a superior permeation of catechin in the different skin layers in comparison with formulations without bile salt.


  • Physical Chemistry
  • NanoLund: Center for Nanoscience

Publishing year





Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces



Document type

Journal article




  • Physical Chemistry


  • Reverse hexagonal phase
  • Skin
  • Lipid liquid crystalline nanoparticles
  • Natural antioxidants
  • Mesophases
  • Bile salts




  • ISSN: 1873-4367