Fiorenza Rancan

Leading speakers for pharma meetings-Fiorenza Rancan

Title: Drug delivery across the skin barrier using biocompatible thermoresponsive nanogels

Fiorenza Rancan

Charite - Universitatsmedizin Berlin, Germany


Fiorenza Rancan is senior scientist at the Clinical Research Center for Hair and Skin Science at the Charité University of Berlin, Germany. Her expertise lays on nanocarriers penetration and drug delivery in human skin using ex-vivo and skin organ culture models. Her main research topics are the use of biodegradable particles (e.g. PLA and virus-like particles) for the delivery of adjuvants and antigens to skin (transcutaneous vaccination), the exploration of soft thermoresponsive nanocarriers for the treatment of skin inflammatory conditions giving special attention to antigen presenting cells, and the development of new antimicrobial treatments using skin models for infected chronic wounds.


Several new therapeutic agents for the treatment of dermatological conditions are emerging. Despite skin accessibility, delivery of drugs across skin and maintenance of a sufficient drug concentration in the target region needs further improvement. Nanocarrier-based approaches are promising strategies for the further development of dermal and transdermal drug delivery. Different types of nanocarriers possess different physicochemical characteristics and have different penetration and drug release properties upon interaction with skin barriers and cell components. A systematic correlation between nanocarrier physicochemical characteristics and their behavior after topical application is necessary to foster the use of nanotechnology in dermatology. Methods like electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, stimulated Raman spectroscopy and flow cytometry of single cell suspensions were utilized to determine nanocarriers physicochemical properties and their performance after application on human skin explants. Softness, stability and stimuli-responsiveness have been identified as the most promising characteristics influencing nanocarrier penetration and drug delivery to skin. In particular, soft thermoresponsive nanogels were found to penetrate deeply within the stratum corneum, the outermost skin barrier, changing its permeability and improving drug penetration. Interaction of nanogels with skin antigen presenting cells occurred in both epidermis and dermis. These findings suggest the possibility to develop targeting approaches in order to increase drug delivery to specific cell populations.

Audience will learn:
•The importance to correlate chemical composition and physical properties to nanocarrier behavior and delivery performance after topical application on skin will be stressed.
•The talk will illustrate how nanocarriers intrinsic properties can be used to improve skin permeability.
•Methods to monitor the interaction of nanocarriers with skin immune system will be shown.