AAPS PharmSciTech

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 1048–1060 | Cite as

Optimized Ciclopirox-Based Eudragit RLPO Nail Lacquer: Effect of Endopeptidase Enzyme as Permeation Enhancer on Transungual Drug Delivery and Efficiency Against Onychomycosis

  • Abeer Khattab
  • Samia Shalaby
Research Article


The aims of our investigation were to develop and optimize ciclopirox (CPX) nail lacquer using nonbiodegradable Eudragit RLPO (E-RLPO) as a film former and to assess its penetration efficiency across the human nail plate. Preliminary trials such as hydration enhancement factor (HEF), a retained drug in the nail plate, and SEM were studied to select the optimized permeation enhancer to be incorporated in the optimized lacquer formulation. A 33 full factorial design was built up to study the effect of three different factors, concentration of E-RLPO (10, 20, and 30%), Tween 80 (0.25, 0.5, and 1%), and triacetin (0, 10, and 30% of polymer weight). The studied responses were the drying time, water resistance, viscosity, and drug release up to 4 h. An ex vivo permeation study for the optimized formulations was carried out. The preliminary study aided the selection of 5% papain (endopeptidase enzyme) as a penetration enhancer; it showed the highest HEF of 15.27%, the highest amount of drug retained in the nail plate (886.2 μg/g). An ex vivo permeation study guided the selection of F4B (flux value of 3.79 μg/cm2/h) as optimized formulation. The optimized lacquer formula showed threefold increases in the permeation than the marketed CPX lacquer (Batrafen®). Confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed the higher intensity of the Rhodamine B dye across the nail plate in the case of the formula containing papain than the marketed formula without papain. Conclusively, an efficient and stable nail lacquer was developed for potential transungual delivery of CPX to target the drug to the nail bed and ensure efficiency against onychomycosis.

Key Words

ciclopirox nail lacquer transungual delivery confocal laser spectroscopy papain 



The authors are thankful to Röhm GMbH Chemische Fabrik, Germany, for providing the gift sample of E-RLPO. The authors would like also to acknowledge the National Organization for Drug Control and Research for providing all necessary facilities during project work.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pharmaceutic DepartmentNational Organization for Drug Control and ResearchGizaEgypt

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