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Characterisation and Skin Distribution of Lecithin-Based Coenzyme Q10-Loaded Lipid Nanocapsules

Huafeng Zhou12, Yang Yue1, Guanlan Liu1, Yan Li1, Jing Zhang1, Zemin Yan2 and Mingxing Duan1*

Author Affiliations

1 State-key Laboratory of Biomembrane and Membrane Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, 100084, Beijing, China

2 Jiangsu Longliqi Bioscience Co., Ltd., 215555, Suzhou, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2010, 5:1561-1569  doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9677-z

Published: 20 July 2010


The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of the inner lipid ratio on the physicochemical properties and skin targeting of surfactant-free lecithin-based coenzyme Q10-loaded lipid nanocapsules (CoQ10-LNCs). The smaller particle size of CoQ10-LNCs was achieved by high pressure and a lower ratio of CoQ10/GTCC (Caprylic/capric triglyceride); however, the zeta potential of CoQ10-LNCs was above /− 60 mV/ with no distinct difference among them at different ratios of CoQ10/GTCC. Both the crystallisation point and the index decreased with the decreasing ratio of CoQ10/GTCC and smaller particle size; interestingly, the supercooled state of CoQ10-LNCs was observed at particle size below about 200 nm, as verified by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) in one heating–cooling cycle. The lecithin monolayer sphere structure of CoQ10-LNCs was investigated by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (Cryo-TEM). The skin penetration results revealed that the distribution of Nile red-loaded CoQ10-LNCs depended on the ratio of inner CoQ10/GTCC; moreover, epidermal targeting and superficial dermal targeting were achieved by the CoQ10-LNCs application. The highest fluorescence response was observed at a ratio of inner CoQ10/GTCC of 1:1. These observations suggest that lecithin-based LNCs could be used as a promising topical delivery vehicle for lipophilic compounds.

Coenzyme Q10; Cryo-TEM; DSC; Topical delivery; Lipid nanocapsules