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Introduction: Capsaicin (CAP) is the major active compound of chili piper. Previous study has been
reported that CAP was used orally or topically for pain relief by rheumatism, neuralgia, lumbago or sciatica.
However, the significant first pass metabolism, the short half-life and the poor water solubility of CAP lead to its
limitation in the development of CAP formulations as novel pharmaceutical products. The objective of this study
was to investigate the effect of terpene on physicochemical properties and skin permeability of CAP loaded
solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN). Method: The SLN containing a constant amount of 0.15% CAP, cetyl palmitate,
transcutol P, Tween 20, Tween 80, deionized water and various percentage of terpene as a potential
penetration enhancer from 0 to 15% were prepared. SLN formulations were evaluated for physicochemical
properties (e.g. size, size distribution, zeta potential and entrapment efficiency), and skin permeability. The
terpene used in SLN formulations was defined as formulation factors (Xn), while the physicochemical properties
and skin permeability were defined as response variables (Yn). Results: The results indicated that the
percentage of terpene significantly affected the entrapment efficiency and skin permeability of SLN formulation.
The skin permeability of all SLNs was significantly higher than commercial product. The 10% terpene
incorporated in SLN showed the maximum entrapment efficiency and skin permeability. Conclusion: The
incorporation of terpene into the formulation was beneficial for the development of SLNs for enhanced
transdermal delivery of CAP. The optimal percentage of terpene used in SLN was up to 10%. We are success
in showing the effect of terpene on physicochemical properties and skin permeability of capsaicin loaded SLN.
Further study is required to confirm the influence of terpene on the stability of SLN.
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