QbD based formulation optimization of semi-solid lipid nanoparticles as nano-cosmeceuticals
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Nano-cosmeceuticals are cosmetic formulations containing nano-drug delivery systems to carry cosmetic active molecules to the relevant skin tissues. The purpose of this research is to develop and optimize the semi-solid nanostructured lipid carriers for caffeine delivery to the deeper skin layers. It is also aimed to achieve a novel nanotechnology-based cosmeceutical formulation with predetermined quality. Hence both caffeine and argan oil encapsulated semi-solid NLCs were developed by following QbD steps. An artificial neural network (ANN) program was employed to reach optimized formulation with desired critical quality attributes (CQAs). The optimized formulation suggested by the ANN exhibited a particle size of 186.5 nm with a PDI value of 0.208 and the occlusion factor of the optimized formulation reached 50.25% after 12 h. A high level of similarity was obtained between the CQAs predicted by ANN and experimental results for the optimum formulation. The present study concluded that the novel caffeine-loaded semi-solid NLC formulation which also contains argan oil is a promising candidate for local treatment of cellulite and it may possess the measurable skin effect. Moreover; a high-quality nano-cosmeceutical product was obtained with the help of artificial intelligence by following QbD steps for the first time to the best of our knowledge.