Formulation and In-vitro Evaluation of Tretinoin Microemulsion as a Potential Carrier for Dermal Drug Delivery

Document Type: Research article


1 Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.


In this study, tretinoin microemulsion has been formulated based on phase diagram studies by changing the amounts and proportions of inactive ingredients, such as surfactants, co-surfactants and oils. The effects of these variables have been determined on microemulsion formation, particle size of the dispersed phase and release profile of tretinoin from microemulsion through dialysis membrane. In released studies, static Franz diffusion cells mounted with dialysis membrane were used. Sampling was conducted every 3 h at room temperature over a period of 24 h. The amount of released drug was measured with UV-spectrophotometer and the percentage of drug released was calculated. Based on the results obtained, the oil phase concentration had a proportional effect on particle size which can consequently influence on drug release. The particle size and the amount of released drug were affected by the applied surfactants. The components of the optimized microemulsion formulation were 15% olive oil, 12% propylene glycol (as co-surfactant), 33% Tween®80 (as surfactant) and 40% distilled water, which was tested for viscosity and rheological behavior. The prepared tretinoin microemulsion showed pseudoplastic-thixotropic behavior. The profile of drug release follows zero order kinetics. The optimized tretinoin microemulsion showed enhanced in-vitro release profile compared to the commercial gels and creams.


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