Hyaluronic acid-mediated drug delivery system targeting for inflammatory skin diseases: A mini review

Kang Nien How, Wei Hsum Yap, Calvin Lai Hock Lim, Bey Hing Goh, Zee Wei Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Hyaluronic acid (HA), a major component of extracellular matrix has been widely applied in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries due to its reported pharmacological properties. Various types of HA drug delivery system including nanoparticles, cryogel-based formulations, microneedle patches, and nano-emulsions were developed. There are studies reporting that several HA-based transdermal delivery systems exhibit excellent biocompatibility, enhanced permeability and efficient localized release of anti-psoriasis drugs and have shown to inhibit psoriasis-associated skin inflammation. Similarly HA is found in abundant at epidermis of atopic dermatitis (AD) suggesting its role in atopic AD pathology. Anti-allergenic effect of atopic eczema can be achieved through the inhibition of CD44 and protein kinase C alpha (PKCα) interaction by HA. Herein, we aim to evaluate the current innovation on HA drug delivery system and the other potential applications of HA in inflammatory skin diseases, focusing on atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. HA is typically integrated into different delivery systems including nanoparticles, liposomes, ethosomes and microneedle patches in supporting drug penetration through the stratum corneum layer of the skin. For instance, ethosomes and microneedle delivery system such as curcumin-loaded HA-modified ethosomes were developed to enhance skin retention and delivery of curcumin to CD44-expressing psoriatic cells whereas methotrexate-loaded HA-based microneedle was shown to enhance skin penetration of methotrexate to alleviate psoriasis-like skin inflammation. HA-based nanoparticles and pluronic F-127 based dual responsive (pH/temperature) hydrogels had been described to enhance drug permeation through and into the intact skin for AD treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1105
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2020


  • atopic dermatitis
  • CD44 receptor
  • drug delivery
  • hyaluronic acid
  • inflammatory skin diseases
  • psoriasis

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