Erythrosine is a dye approved for medical use that has shown promising photodynamic activity, allowing for the inactivation of microorganisms and activity against malignant cells. Despite the great photodynamic potential, erythrosine exhibits hydrophilicity, negatively impacting its action in biological membranes. Therefore, the incorporation of erythrosine in micellar polymeric systems, such as poloxamers, may overcome this limitation. Moreover, using bioadhesive and thermoresponsive polymers to combine in situ gelation and bioadhesion may enhance retention of this topically applied drug. In this work, mucoadhesive and thermoresponsive micellar systems were prepared containing erythrosine in two states: the native form (ERI) and the disodium salt (ERIs). The systems were evaluated based on the effect of ERI/ERIs on the micellar structure of the binary polymer mixtures. Optimised combinations of poloxamer 407 (polox407) and mucoadhesive sodium carboxymethylcellulose (NaCMC) or hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) were used as micellar systems for ERI or ERIs delivery. The systems were studied with respect to theoretical interactions, qualitative composition, morphology, and micellar properties. In silico modelling indicated a higher interaction of the drug with poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) than poly(propylene oxide) (PPO) fragments of polox407. Systems containing NaCMC displayed a repulsive effect in the presence of erythrosine, due to the polymer's charge density. Both systems could convert the photosensitizer in its monomeric form, ensuring photodynamic activity. In these mixtures, crystallinity, critical micellar temperature and enthalpy of polox407 micellisation were reduced, and micellar size, evaluated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), showed low impact of ERI/ERIs in HPMC preparations. Aiming toward photodynamic applications, the findings showed how ERI or ERIs can affect the micellar formation of gels composed of 17.5% (w/w) polox407 and 3% (w/w) HPMC or 1% (w/w) NaCMC, important for understating their behaviour and future utilisation as erythrosine delivery systems.
- Health and Wellbeing