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Open Access Nano Express

Hydrogels containing redispersible spray-dried melatonin-loaded nanocapsules: a formulation for transdermal-controlled delivery

Cristiane RD Hoffmeister1, Taís L Durli1, Scheila R Schaffazick2, Renata P Raffin13, Eduardo A Bender1, Ruy CR Beck1*, Adriana R Pohlmann14 and Sílvia S Guterres1

Author Affiliations

1 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Farmacêuticas, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. 2752, Porto Alegre, CEP, 90610-000, Brazil

2 Departamento de Farmácia Industrial, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Prédio 26 - Campus UFSM, Santa Maria, CEP 97105-900, Brazil

3 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Nanociência, Centro Universitário Franciscano, Rua dos Andradas, 1614, Santa Maria, 97010-032, Brazil

4 Departamento de Química Orgânica, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, CP 15003, Porto Alegre, CEP 91510-970, Brazil

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:251  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-251

Published: 15 May 2012


The aim of the present study was to develop a transdermal system for controlled delivery of melatonin combining three strategies: nanoencapsulation of melatonin, drying of melatonin-loaded nanocapsules, and incorporation of nanocapsules in a hydrophilic gel. Nanocapsules were prepared by interfacial deposition of the polymer and were spray-dried using water-soluble excipients. In vitro drug release profiles were evaluated by the dialysis bag method, and skin permeation studies were carried out using Franz cells with porcine skin as the membrane. The use of 10% (w/v) water-soluble excipients (lactose or maltodextrin) as spray-drying adjuvants furnished redispersible powders (redispersibility index approximately 1.0) suitable for incorporation into hydrogels. All formulations showed a better controlled in vitro release of melatonin compared with the melatonin solution. The best controlled release results were achieved with hydrogels prepared with dried nanocapsules (hydrogels > redispersed dried nanocapsules > nanocapsule suspension > melatonin solution). The skin permeation studies demonstrated a significant modulation of the transdermal melatonin permeation for hydrogels prepared with redispersible nanocapsules. In this way, the additive effect of the different approaches used in this study (nanoencapsulation, spray-drying, and preparation of semisolid dosage forms) allows not only the control of melatonin release, but also transdermal permeation.

Hydrogels; Maltodextrin; Melatonin; Nanocapsules; Spray-drying; Lactose; Skin permeation; Transdermal delivery