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Nano-in-nano system containing curcumin and benzydamine hydrochloride for the treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis: from development to in vitro anti-inflammatory application

Grant number: 22/02187-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2022
Effective date (End): August 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Pharmacy - Pharmaceutical Technology
Principal Investigator:Marlus Chorilli
Grantee:Gabriela Corrêa Carvalho
Supervisor: Helder Almeida Santos
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCFAR). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Groningen, Netherlands  
Associated to the scholarship:19/26821-7 - Nano-in-nano containing curcumin and benzydamine hydrochloride for the treatment of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis: from development to biological application in vitro and in vivo, BP.DR


Vulvovaginal candidiasis currently represents a major public health challenge due to its high incidence and reports of recurrences. These challenges are due to host-related factors, such as compromised immune system, or pathogen-related factors, including resistance to antifungal agents, making it necessary to study new treatment alternatives, for example, substances of natural origin, such as curcumin (CUR). However, this substance presents problems that limit its therapeutic application, such as insolubility in aqueous solvents, which leads to low bioavailability. Despite this, the association of nanotechnology and drugs of plant origin appears to be a promising alternative to overcome the aforementioned limitations. Although this pathology is caused by a fungus, patients suffer a lot from the inflammation caused by it, therefore, this proposal aims to combine two drugs, benzydamine hydrochloride (anti-inflammatory) and curcumin (anti-fungal) in one system, a nano-in-nano, formed by two different delivery systems, mesoporous silica nanoparticles and a lipid structure (liposome). These two nanoparticles were chosen to be combined in a hybrid system in order to combine characteristics such as chemical stability, versatility due the presence of pores, large surface area and hydroxyl groups of NSM with the high biocompatibility of the liposome. Among the different routes of administration, the vaginal route can be highlighted, as the vaginal mucosa has high permeability, high blood supply and lack of first-pass metabolism, optimizing its local action. Furthermore, the dispersion of the nano-in-nano system in thermo-responsive hydrogels would not only facilitate the application of the formulation in the vagina, since it is liquid at room temperature and gel at body temperature but would also increase its residence time in the vagina, allowing a sustained release at the specific site of action. (AU)

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