A team led by Dr. Munia Ganguli, Scientist at Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB)-New Delhi, -- from the field of Nanobiotechnology -- is the first to develop a unique approach whereby pretreatment of skin with silicone oil can improvise the entry of nano-complexes, comprising of plasmid DNA and a peptide carrier, up to deeper layers of skin just by a topical application. The results of the study were published in the journal Molecular Therapy.
Large surface area of the skin makes it convenient for skin care formulation to treat a multitude of skin conditions. Skin is a major barrier against absorption of external agents in our body. Therefore aiming for topical/transdermal delivery across such interface is itself a challenging task. A topical medication is intended to have an effect at the site of application. Transdermal medications are absorbed through the skin to have an effect in areas of the body away from the site of application.
“Recently there has been an upsurge in the number of individuals affected by skin related disorders which in turn affects their overall quality of life,’’ says Manika Vij, one of the authors of the paper. She says this motivated her to focus her research on understanding of the intricacies of biomolecule delivery in the skin and to develop an effective treatment modality for such individuals whereby they can regain the confidence and are no more ostracized for skin related issues’’.
The group has been working on the peptide-mediated delivery of DNA to cells and organs for many years. The motivation of Dr. Ganguli and her team was to develop a non-invasive and non-toxic method of nucleic acid delivery to the skin.
“In this study, we have used, in a synergistic manner, a chemical enhancer namely silicone oil and a peptide to allow large negatively charged molecules like DNA to get into the skin layers,’’ says Dr. Ganguli. “Usually the techniques that are used for DNA delivery to the skin are harsh, toxic and often cumbersome to use. Thus it was very exciting for us to observe that we could efficiently deliver DNA to deeper skin layers in a simple manner,’’ she said.
Getting under the skin has always been challenging prospect for life-saving therapy in cutaneous disorders. “Nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) have potential to be used as therapeutics for different skin disorders. Our method is simple to use, non-invasive and does not damage the skin integrity, and hence possibly patient compliant”, says the study leader.
The study leader and her team believe that a detailed study of this method could dramatically redefine this strategy for transdermal delivery of other such molecules that can eliminate the need for painful needles and injections.
“We can extend this strategy for easy delivery of other large molecules which can be important for anti-aging applications, and cosmeceuticals, the combination of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. There is also a possibility of easier delivery of growth factors for improved skin health. These are of course long term projections and a lot more validations will be needed to reach there”, Dr. Ganguli explained about the future perspectives of her finding.
SCISOUP is a science and technology blog for science professionals and general public. Our mission is dedicated to cover a wide range of published scientific findings and innovative developments in academia and research organisations.