Hollow microneedle assisted intradermal delivery of hypericin lipid nanocapsules with light enabled photodynamic therapy against skin cancer

Heba Abd-El-Azim, Ismaiel A Tekko, Ahlam Ali, Alyaa Ramadan, Noha Nafee, Nawal Khalafallah, Taifur Rahman, William Mcdaid, Rania G Aly, Lalitkumar K Vora, Steven J Bell, Fiona Furlong, Helen O McCarthy, Ryan F Donnelly

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Abstract

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) to manage non-melanoma skin cancers has garnered great attention over the past few years. Hypericin (Hy) is a potent lipid-soluble photosensitiser with promising anticancer therapeutic activities. Nevertheless, its poor water-solubility, aggregation in biological systems and insufficient skin penetration restricted its effective exploitation. Herein, we report for the first-time encapsulation of Hy into lipid nanocapsules (Hy-LNCs), and then application of an AdminPen™ hollow microneedles (Ho-MNs) array and an in-house fabricated Ho-MN to enable efficient intradermal delivery. The physicochemical properties, photoactivity, ex vivo drug distribution and cellular uptake were evaluated. Results showed that Hy-LNCs were successfully formed with a particle size of 47.76 ± 0.49 nm, PDI of 0.12 ± 0.02, high encapsulation efficiency (99.67% ± 0.35), 396 fold higher photoactivity, 7 fold higher skin drug deposition, significantly greater cellular uptake and higher photocytotoxicity compared to free Hy. The therapeutic effect of Hy-LNCs was finally assessed in vivo using a nude mouse model with transplanted tumours. Interestingly, Hy-LNCs delivered by Ho-MN exhibited remarkable anti-tumour destruction (85.84%) after irradiation with 595 nm. This study showed that Ho-MNs-driven delivery of Hy-LNCs followed by irradiation could form a promising minimally invasive, effective and site-specific approach for managing non-melanoma skin cancers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-869
JournalJournal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society
Volume348
Early online date28 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Non-melanoma skin cancer, hypericin
  • Lipid nanocapsule, hollow microneedle
  • Photodynamic therapy

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