Polymeric networks that retain and absorb substantial amount of water or biological fluids and resemble as a biological tissue are defined as hydrogels. On the other hand, liposomes, transfersomes and niosomes are lipid carriers, which represent one of the major research and development focus areas of the pharmaceutical industry. They have great potential as lipid vehicles that are able to enhance permeation of drugs across the intact skin and can act as local depot for the drug to sustain and control its delivery. Lipid carrier and hydrogel combinations offer transdermal drug delivery of great potential to enhance systemic effects of both hydrophilic and lipophilic drugs. Also, lipid carriers can target drugs to skin appendages and improve transdermal delivery. Lipid carrier proform systems in the form of gelly liquid crystals can also be used transdermally for better drug absorption enhancement. This review highlights the potential of hydrogels and emulgels with or without lipid nanocarriers for dermal and transdermal application.
Part of the book: Liposomes