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Topical microemulsion (ME) might provide a novel and advanced transdermal delivery system due to the enhances of drug solubility and permeability across the stratum corneum. Foams are topical delivery systems that have excellent patient compliance, acceptability, and preference. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate a foamable microemulsion as an alternative topical and transdermal dosage form for diclofenac sodium (DS). The physicochemical properties (optical clarity, percentage transmittance, homogeneity, consistency of formulation, particle size, zeta potential, conductivity, viscosity, and morphology, etc.) of the DS-loaded ME were investigated. The foam stability of both drug-free ME and DS-loaded ME was measured. The foam quality was evaluated, and the chemical stability over 90 days was determined. Franz diffusion cells were employed to assess the in vitro drug release of a foamed DS-loaded ME and compared with a commercial topical product. A foamable and stable DS-loaded ME that maintained small particle sizes and constant zeta potential and was transparent and translucent in appearance after 90 days was successfully produced. The foam of the DS-loaded ME was physically more stable compared to the drug-free foam. The foam had an increased drug release rate compared to the commercial product. The foamable DS-loaded ME has a great potential to enhance the transdermal delivery of DS after topical administration. Foamed DS-loaded ME is a promising alternative to the current topical formulation of DS. © 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.


Braa Hajjar, Jieyu Zuo, Chulhun Park, Shirzad Azarmi, Daniela Amaral Silva, Nádia Araci Bou-Chacra, Raimar Löbenberg. In Vitro Evaluation of a Foamable Microemulsion Towards an Improved Topical Delivery of Diclofenac Sodium. AAPS PharmSciTech. 2022 Apr 04;23(4):102

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PMID: 35378669

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