Antibacterial Compound Encased in Nanoparticles Offers New Hope for Acne Treatment

Antibacterial Compound Encased in Nanoparticles Offers New Hope for Acne Treatment

An innovative treatment utilizing an antibacterial compound packaged inside microscopic envelopes could bring relief to the millions of people suffering from acne vulgaris. This inflammatory skin condition is caused by an overgrowth of the skin bacterium Cutibacterium acnes, leading to uncomfortable eruptions of pustules.

While there are existing methods to control bacterial growth, such as antibiotics and hormone therapies, many of these treatments come with side effects or are becoming ineffective as the bacteria adapts. However, scientists have turned to an antibiotic called narasin, which is commonly employed to prevent infections in livestock and poultry, as a potential solution for acne.

In a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of South Australia, the University of Adelaide, and Aix-Marseille Université in France, narasin demonstrated effectiveness against C. acnes under laboratory conditions. Moreover, the scientists discovered that encapsulating narasin in nano-micelles, which are a thousand times smaller than a strand of human hair, significantly enhanced its ability to penetrate deeper into the skin.

By using a nanoparticle delivery system, the team improved the solubility of narasin by over 100 times compared to a simple water mix. This was achieved by incorporating a compound called Soluplus, which enhanced the solubility of the nano-micelles and stabilized the drug delivery. Pharmaceutical scientist Sanjay Garg from the University of South Australia highlighted the success of the micelle formulation in delivering narasin to acne-targeted sites.

To test the gel’s stability and potential effectiveness, the researchers used pig ear skin samples. Although further research is needed to determine its impact on actual acne in humans, the experiment showed promising results. If successful, a narasin nanoparticle gel could effectively combat C. acnes in the hair follicles beneath the skin, where the bacterium thrives.

In addition to its potential efficacy, the gel formulated by the scientists remained stable at room temperature for up to four weeks, indicating its potential for practical use. As existing acne treatments become less effective due to antibiotic resistance, understanding the causes of acne and discovering new treatment options becomes increasingly crucial.

Acne affects approximately 9.4 percent of the global population, primarily adolescents, causing distress and negatively impacting self-confidence and social well-being. The development of topical treatments like the narasin nanoparticle gel offers hope for individuals battling this common skin condition. The study was published in the journal Nanoscale.

– Abid et al., Nanoscale, 2023

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