Nanoemulsion-Based Therapies: Antimicrobial, Anti-inflammatory and Drug Delivery Properties

09 September 2019 15:55 - 16:30

Nanoemulsions (NE) are oil-in-water emulsions containing high energy nanometer-sized droplets stabilized by surfactants, and specifically designed for topical and mucosal targeted delivery. Due to their size (less than 500nm) and surface-active properties they to traverse the skin via pores, hair follicles, and mucosal membranes, but are excluded from entering the tight junctions of the epithelium. As a result, they can be highly bioavailable in the tissues, without causing disruption of the normal epithelial matrix.

Nanoemulsions can delivery agents across the nasal mucosa for the desired clinical (therapeutic) effect. We have testing these formulation in high-throughput screens and found NE induced immunogenicity and antigen delivery are facilitated through initial contact interactions between the NE droplet and mucosal surfaces, which promote prolonged residence of the vaccine at the site of application, and thus cellular uptake.  We have incorporated small molecule, peptides/proteins and large macromolecules in optimized nanoemulsion formulation for transmucosal delivery. Nanoemulsions can delivery agents across the nasal mucosa for therapeutic effects.

Nanoemulsions delivered topically are inherently antimicrobial and lyse pathogens upon contact, thereby overcoming existing resistance mechanisms.  Other anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-viral agents can be entrapped inside the nanoemulsion and enhanced drug delivery of these agents. Studies of a novel nanoemulsion formulated with other agents demonstrates significantly higher levels are achieved as compared to commercially available products.  Recently discovered, a topical nanoemulsion therapy acting as a topical antimicrobial was found to halt burn wound progression in a swine burn wound model.  The nanoemulsion reduced the bacterial growth in the burn wound to minimal levels compared to saline and silver sulfadiazine and significantly reduced levels of dermal inflammatory cytokines. By reducing excess influx of neutrophils into the burn wound and modulating the pro-inflammatory response, the nanoemulsion formulations attenuated burn wound progression in the early post-injury phase and prevented conversion of burn wounds from partial thickness to full thickness. This discovery, if demonstrated in man, would lessen the need for skin grafting, speed recovery, result in fewer infectious complications, and improve the outcomes by preventing the conversion to full thickness wounds.  Among its many uses nanoemulsion therapy is a potential new breakthrough treatment for preventing burn wound progression.

Susan M. Ciotti, Director of Formulation Development, Ann Arbor MI, Adjunct Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI, BlueWillow Biologics