Content » Vol 73, Issue 1

Investigative Report

Freeze-fracture electron microscopic and osmotic water permeability studies of epidermal lipid liposomes derived from stratum corneum lipids of porcine epidermis.

Mandal TK, Downing DT.
DOI: 10.2340/00015555731217


Freeze-fracture electron microscopic studies revealed that the liposomal membrane morphology was intact before and after osmotic treatment. This finding suggested that water leakage from the liposomes was not due to fusion of two or more lipid vesicles, but rather to the osmotic salt effect. A stop-flow spectrophotometric study revealed that epidermal lipid liposomes derived from stratum corneum lipids of porcine skin underwent increases of the absorbances with decreases of volume of the vesicles. The initial rate at which the changes in optical density occurs is a measure of the water permeability through the liposomes. The reciprocal of the changes in the absorbance at the equilibrium at different salt osmotic shocks showed a linear dependence on the reciprocal of the osmotic pressure gradient, indicating that epidermal lipid liposomes are an ideal osmometer. The present investigation reports that lignoceric acid is a potent water barrier. Present findings suggest that the initial rate of water penetration decreased in the liposomes made from 30-45% (wt% ratio) of cholesterol and ceramides. Oleic acid as drug penetration enhancer facilitated the water diffusion of the stratum corneum lipid liposomes by a fluidizing effect on the liposomal membranes. Furthermore, ceramides are important in the water barrier properties of the skin. The permeability of water depends upon the amount (wt%) and the type of lipid of the membrane.


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