There is an increasing interest in the development of highly effective carriers for the delivery of cosmeceutical and pharmaceutical active ingredients. The field of nanostructured aqueous dispersions remains an area where further advances are required, especially the effective loading and the controlled delivery of bioactive materials (particularly peptides and proteins) (Yaghmur & Glatter 2009). Water-in-oil (W/O) emulsions have great potentials as delivery vehicles. However, their formulation typically requires the addition of a surfactant to stabilize it and surfactants are known to be irritant for the skin. Therefore, attempts have to be made to develop surfactant-free W/O emulsions. The host group led by Prof. Glatter has a filed patent on surfactant-free W/O emulsions made of glyceryl monooleate. The oil phase is a lyotropic liquid crystalline nanostructure. The formulation has advantages such as, effective solubilization of active ingredients and controlled release. The hydrophobic phase can be natural oils and therefore additional cosmetic properties can be incorporated in the formulation. Most cosmeceuticals are hydrophobic or amphiphilic and they cannot usually be loaded in the emulsions after they are formed. However, in W/O emulsions it is easier to load the compounds after the formation of the emulsions. Moreover, W/O emulsions are suitable for cosmetics because they can easily be spread on the skin and they have superior moisturizing behaviors compared to oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions. The main objective of this project is to prepare a surfactant-free W/O emulsion with phytantriol as the amphiphilic lipid phase with different essential oils (i.e. almond oil, sunflower oil, etc.) and active compounds and to investigate their potentials for the delivery of active ingredients in form of a topical cosmeceutical. The system developed in this proposal acts as a basic cream and can be used in various cosmeceutical formulations.
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