Ethanol Based Vesicular Carriers in Transdermal Drug Delivery: Nanoethosomes and Transethosomes in Focus

Lalit Kumar, Shivani Verma, Kuljit Singh, Deo Nandan Prasad and Amit Kumar Jain


Transdermal route is one of the attractive routes for drug delivery due to its easy accessibility. Effective delivery of bioactive molecules through skin is however, still a challenge. The development of vesicular formulations has generated some promising solutions to the problems associated with drug delivery not only related to drugs but also those of barriers like skin. Conventional lipid based vesicular systems like liposomes show inability to cross intercellular channels of stratum corneum. To overcome this drawback of conventional lipidic systems, ethanol based vesicular carriers were developed by pharmaceutical scientists. Nanoethosomes and transethosomes come under the category of ethanol based lipidic carriers. Nanoethosomes are composed of phospholipid, ethanol and water, while transethosomes have exactly same composition but additionally they contain edge activators (like span 60) or permeation enhancers (like oleic acid). Ethanol based vesicular systems represent non-invasive carriers which enable the drug to reach in deeper epidermal layers or systemic circulation. The nature, methods of preparation, and evaluation parameters of nanoethosomes and transethosomes were discussed in this review along with their applications, problematic issues and future progress.