Sertaconazole gels effective against C. albicans in vitro
Hydrogels based on cyclodextrins may be effective for delivery of drugs to yeast infections, Spanish researchers report. "The cyclodextrin hydrogels are highly biocompatible drug delivery systems obtained using a patented, environmentally friendly procedure," said Carmen Alvarez-Lorenzo, PhD, a professor at the University of Santiago de Compostela, in an e-mail to PFQ. "Their mechanical properties can be tuned to be applied on mucosal surfaces (buccal, vaginal, etc.) or onto the skin. The cyclodextrins, which are structural components of the hydrogel, maintain their ability to host hydrophobic drug molecules."
Dr. Alvarez-Lorenzo explained that although sertaconazole is effective against C. albicans, its poor aqueous solubility makes formulation problematic. The highly hydrophilic hydrogels can slowly release therapeutic amounts of the hydrophobic drug in a controlled manner to achieve and maintain efficient drug levels at the infection site, she told PFQ. The material can be formulated in small patches and can be given bioadhesive properties with the inclusion of an acrylic polymer, she said.
Dr. Alvarez-Lorenzo is the senior author of a paper describing the technology. (Lopez-Montero E, Rosa dos Santos JF, Torres-Labandeira JJ, et al. Sertaconazole-loaded cyclodextrin-polysaccharide hydrogels as antifungal devices. Open Drug Deliv J. 2009;3:1-9.) The researchers reported that sertaconazole can be loaded efficiently into the cyclodextrin hydrogels and released over a period of up to four days.
Dr. Alvarez-Lorenzo said the cyclodextrin hydrogels "are potentially capable of being carriers of any drug that can form inclusion complexes with a cyclodextrin."
The researchers also recently reported the ability to form these hydrogels into contact lenses, with the potential of dual use for optical correction and drug delivery for ocular disease. (dos Santos JF, Alvarez-Lorenzo C, Silva M, et al. Soft contact lenses functionalized with pendant cyclodextrins for controlled drug delivery. Biomaterials. 2009;30(7):1348-1355.)