Quercetin loaded cosm-nutraceutical electrospun composite nanofibers for acne alleviation: Preparation, characterization and experimental clinical appraisal

Funding Sponsor

Kingston University

Author's Department

Chemistry Department

Second Author's Department

Chemistry Department

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Sandra Sherif Amer, Wael Mamdouh, Maha Nasr, Amr ElShaer, Elena Polycarpou, Rasha T.A. Abdel-Aziz, Omaima A. Sammour

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Pharmaceutics

Publication Date





In the cosmeceutical field, it is essential to develop topical delivery systems which would allow drugs to create a depot and permeate within the skin. The aim of the present study was to develop composite nanofibers of polyvinyl alcohol/quercetin/essential oils using the electrospinning technique, and assess their efficiency in acne alleviation. Quercetin was chosen due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and antibacterial activities. Nanofibers were characterized for their morphology, ex-vivo deposition/permeation, physical/mechanical integrity, thermal properties, and chemical characteristics. In addition, the anti-bacterial efficacy was tested on Propionibacterium acne (P. acne), and a cytotoxicity assay was carried out. Lastly, an experimental clinical trial was conducted on acne patients, where the percentage reduction of inflammatory, non-inflammatory and total acne lesions was taken as evaluation criterion. Results showed that quercetin was successfully loaded into the nanofibers which were homogenously dispersed. They showed a reasonable skin deposition percentage of 28.24% ± 0.012, a significantly higher antibacterial efficacy against Propionibacterium acne than quercetin alone, and were utterly safe on skin fibroblastic cells. Upon clinical examination on acne patients, the nanofibers showed 61.2%, 14.7%, and 52.9% reduction of inflammatory, comedonal, and total acne lesions respectively, suggesting a promising topical anti-acne delivery system.

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