Development and analysis of different phospholipid formulations for dermal application and their effect on human dermal cell viability

Prof. Dr. C. Valenta1), University of Vienna/Austria

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Prof. Dr. Claudia ValentaDepartment of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy, University of Vienna, Austria

People involved

Mag. Pharm. Claudia Vater (PhD fellow sponsored by the PRC) - Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy, University of Vienna, Austria (


Phospholipid-based formulations have gained major interest in the field of topical drug delivery due to their physical-chemical properties. As amphiphilic constituents of cellular membranes, phospholipids exhibit both high biocompatibility and great emulsifying power. Thus, plentiful phospholipid-based formulations and drug carriers such as liposomes, solid-lipid nanoparticles (SLNs), micelles, and organogels have been developed and investigated by different research groups.1)2)3)4)5)6)

In the project, a range of phospholipids will be used to prepare different formulations. Importantly, the focus of this project is the evaluation of the employed phospholipids and the developed formulations on the cell viability of viable human keratinocytes and fibroblasts as determined by cell culture toxicity tests. To this end, a specific dermal cell culture line will be established in the laboratory. In addition, the effect of the formulations on skin penetration and permeation of incorporated model drugs will be determined.

Benefit for the community

The results will contribute to the general knowledge in the field of cytotoxicity of dermal formulations and especially of phospholipids. Moreover, feedback will be collected from colleagues within this and related fields of research and this interdisciplinary exchange will stimulate new creative approaches towards scientific use of natural phospholipids in dermal formulations as well as for natural cosmetics.

Visit the supervisors lab


Fricker G, Kromp T, Wendel A, Blume A, Zirkel J, Rebmann H, Setzer C, Quinkert R-O, Martin F, M├╝ller-Goymann CC, 2010
Phospholipids and Lipid-Based Formulations in Oral Drug Delivery
Pharm. Res. 27, 1469-1486
Klang V, Valenta C, 2011
Lecithin-based nanoemulsions
J. Drug Delivery Sci. Technol. 21, 55-76
Sahle FF, Metz H, Wohlrab J, Neubert RHH, 2013
Lecithin-Based Microemulsions for Targeted Delivery of Ceramide AP into the Stratum Corneum: Formulation, Characterizations, and In Vitro Release and Penetration Studies
Pharm. Res. 30, 538-551
Shah SM, Ashtikar M, Jain AS, Makhija DT, Nikam Y, Gude RP, Steiniger F, Jagtap AA, Nagarsenker MS, Fahr A, 2015
LeciPlex, invasomes, and liposomes: A skin penetration study
Int. J. Pharm. 490, 391-403
Lauterbach A, M├╝ller-Goymann CC, 2015
Design of lipid microparticle dispersions based on the physicochemical properties of the lipid and aqueous phase
Int. J. Pharm. 494, 445-452
Wolf M, Klang V, Halper M, Stix C, Heuser T, Kotisch H, Valenta C, 2017
Monoacyl-phospatidylcholine nanostructured lipid carriers: Influence of lipid and surfactant content on in vitro skin permeation of flufenamic acid and fluconazole
J. Drug Delivery Sci. Technol. 41, 419-430
Publications derived from the project:
Vater C, Adamovic A, Ruttensteiner L, Steiner K, Tajpara P, Klang V, Elbe-B├╝rger A, Wirth M, Valenta C, 2019
Cytotoxicity of lecithin-based nanoemulsions on human skin cells and ex vivo skin permeation: Comparison to conventional surfactant types
Int. J. Pharm. 566, 383-390
Vater C, Hlawaty V, Werdenits P, Cichoń MA, Klang V, Elbe-Bürger A, Wirth M, Valenta C, 2020
Effects of lecithin-based nanoemulsions on skin: short-time cytotoxicity MTT and BrdU studies, skin penetration of surfactants and additives and the delivery of curcumin
Int. J. Pharm. 580, 119209
Vater C, Apanovic A, Riethm├╝ller C, Litschauer B, Wolzt M, Valenta C, Klang V, 2021
Changes in Skin Barrier Function after Repeated Exposition to Phospholipid-Based Surfactants and Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate In Vivo and Corneocyte Surface Analysis by Atomic Force Microscopy
Pharmaceutics 13, 436
Vater C, Bosch L, Mitter A, Gols T, Seiser S, Heiss E, Elbe-Burger A, Wirth M, Valenta C, Klang V, 2021
Lecithin-based nanoemulsions of traditional herbal wound healing agents and their effect on human skin cells
Eur. J. Pharm. Biopharm.
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