Topical Compositions and Methods of Detection and Treatment
A new solid lipid nanoparticle (SLN) formulation has been developed by researchers at The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). This formulation is a skin-penetrating lipid nanoemulsion with a very small (<10 nm), well-controlled particle size. In human skin experiments, APL's SLN formulation has proven to be highly stable; to effectively penetrate the stratum corneum, reaching the basal layer of the epidermis; and to have a low toxicity/irritancy profile.
This SLN formulation is being developed into a biosensor platform to detect specific biomarkers found in skin (for example, hormones, DNA, cytokines, and cholesterol). This topical, pain-free, diagnostic approach could provide a valuable tool for better understanding a variety of disease states and environmental exposures. To this end, the research team has determined that this SLN formulation can be used to detect very small (micromolar) quantities of hydrogen peroxide. The chemical interaction of the particles with hydrogen peroxide results in excitation of a fluorescent dye incorporated into the emulsion which is easily measured by standard optical detectors. This use of the SLN formulation permits continuous monitoring of hydrogen peroxide, which, when overproduced, is implicated in the development of many diseases and, in particular, serves as an early indicator of infection and exposure to toxins or radiation.
This SLN formulation is also being used for compound delivery and temperature-triggered compound release. In collaboration with dermatologists at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, this new formulation has been used to deliver therapeutic compounds to wounds to promote "scarless" healing and to hair follicles to treat alopecia areata (hair loss).CONTACT: