Growth factors (GFs) are indispensable in regenerative medicine because of their high effectiveness. However, as GFs degenerate easily, the development of a suitable carrier with improved stability for GFs is necessary. In this study, we developed a gel-in-oil (G/O) emulsion technology for the transdermal delivery of growth factors. Nanogel particles prepared with heparin-immobilized gelatin that can bind growth factors were dispersed in isopropyl myristate. The particle size of the G/O emulsion could be controlled by changing the surfactant concentration, volume ratio of the water phase to the oil phase, and gelatin concentration. In vitro skin penetration studies showed better penetration through the stratum corneum of fluorescent proteins containing G/O emulsions than of the aqueous solution of GF. Similarly, an in vivo study showed an angiogenesis-inducing effect after transdermal application of GF-immobilized G/O emulsion. Angiogenesis in mice was confirmed owing to both an increased blood vessel network and higher hemoglobin content in the blood. Therefore, the G/O emulsion could be a promising carrier for GFs with better stability and can effectively deliver GFs at the target site.
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