Vesicular drug delivery for the treatment of topical disorders: current and future perspectives

Bwalya A. Witika, Larry L. Mweetwa, Kabo O. Tshiamo, Karen Edler, Scott K. Matafwali, Pascal V. Ntemi, Melissa T.R. Chikukwa, Pedzisai A. Makoni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives Vesicular drug delivery has become a useful approach for therapeutic administration of pharmaceutical compounds. Lipid vesicles have found application in membrane biology, immunology, genetic engineering and theragnostics. This review summarizes topical delivery, specifically dermal/transdermal, ocular and transungual, via these vesicles, including future formulation perspectives. Key findings Liposomes and their subsequent derivatives, viz. niosomes, transferosomes, pharmacososmes and ethosomes, form a significant part of vesicular systems that have been successfully utilized in treating an array of topical disorders. These vesicles are thought to be a safe and effective mode of improving the delivery of lipophilic and hydrophilic drugs. Summary Several drug molecules are available for topical disorders. However, physicochemical properties and undesirable toxicity have limited their efficacy. Vesicular delivery systems have the potential to overcome these shortcomings due to properties such as high biocompatibility, simplicity of surface modification and suitability as controlled delivery vehicles. However, incorporating these systems into environmentally responsive dispersants such as hydrogels, ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents may further enhance therapeutic prowess of these delivery systems. Consequently, improved vesicular drug delivery can be achieved by considering combining some of these formulation approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1427-1441
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • dermal
  • liposomes
  • ocular
  • topical disorders
  • transungual
  • vesicular drug delivery


Dive into the research topics of 'Vesicular drug delivery for the treatment of topical disorders: current and future perspectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this