Background: The present study involved formulation and evaluation of fluconazole loaded, self-assembled cubosomal gel developed for the treatment of fungal infections of the skin. The objective was to encapsulate high drug payload in cubosomes for improved therapeutic efficiency. Cubosomes were prepared by top down technique (Fragmentation by using sonication). Different formulations were prepared and optimized for better performance in terms of entrapment efficiency, vesicle size and permeation.
Methods: Studies were designed to formulate cubosomes by optimizing the ratio of the different components (GMO:P407:Water). The characterization and evaluation of the optimized cubosomal gel of fluconazole was carried out by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), entrapment efficiency analysis, particle size distribution, drug permeability, rheology, texture analysis and in vitro antifungal activity. The prepared cubosomal gel of fluconazole was compared with the marketed Flucose® Gel for various rheological parameters.
Results: Data revealed the internal cubic structure of the vesicles. The optimized cubosomal dispersion exhibited good entrapment efficiency (78.79%) along with high drug permeability (88.54%). When compared to marketed formulation Flucose® Gel, it was observed that cubosomal gel presented better results and increased the permeability flux of fluconazole by 1.6 folds.
Conclusion: These results indicated that GMO based cubosomal system may serve as a potential topical delivery system for fluconazole and other drugs with similar partition coefficient values. It was also observed that cubosomal formulation enhanced drug payload and permeability across the skin.