Preparation and Evaluation of Imatinib Loaded Transfersomal gel for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Document Type : Research article


1 Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy and Novel Drug Delivery Systems Research Centre, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

2 Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.



In the present study, imatinib-loaded transfersomal gel (imatinib-TFS-Gel) was developed to minimize the oral dosing frequency and side effects during rheumatoid arthritis (RA) therapy. Imatinib-loaded transfersomes (imatinib-TFS) were prepared by the film-hydration method. The effects of lecithin content, lecithin/ EA ratio, and the type of EA on the characteristics of the imatinib-TFS were studied using a D-optimal design. Morphology of imatinib-TFS was investigated using scanning electron microscopy. The optimized imatinib-TFS formulation was used to prepare imatinib-TFS-Gel with the aid of Carbopol 940 as the gelling agent. The Optimized imatinib-TFS had a spherical shape with the particle size of 140.53 ± 0.87 nm, polydispersity index of 0.44 ± 0.01, the zeta potential of -17.63 ± 0.65 mV, encapsulation efficiency of 98.70 ± 0.38%, and release efficiency of 81.26 ± 0.70 %. Ex-vivo skin permeation studies through the rat skin showed that the cumulative amount of imatinib permeated from imatinib-TFS-Gel was significantly higher than that from imatinib-Gel. The RA rat model indicated a substantial reduction in paw edema during the 14 days study following the application of imatinib-TFS-Gel as compared with imatinib-Gel. Therefore, imatinib-TFS-Gel can be considered as a promising drug delivery system for the treatment of RA.

Graphical Abstract

Preparation and Evaluation of Imatinib Loaded Transfersomal gel for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis


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