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Pickering emulsions for skin decontamination

Alicia Salerno, Marie-Alexandrine Bolzinger, Pauline Rolland, Yves Chevalier, Denis Josse, Stéphanie Briançon
Toxicology in Vitro: An International Journal Published in Association with BIBRA 2016, 34: 45-54
27021875
This study aimed at developing innovative systems for skin decontamination. Pickering emulsions, i.e. solid-stabilized emulsions, containing silica (S-PE) or Fuller's earth (FE-PE) were formulated. Their efficiency for skin decontamination was evaluated, in vitro, 45min after an exposure to VX, one of the most highly toxic chemical warfare agents. Pickering emulsions were compared to FE (FE-W) and silica (S-W) aqueous suspensions. PE containing an oil with a similar hydrophobicity to VX should promote its extraction. All the formulations reduced significantly the amount of VX quantified on and into the skin compared to the control. Wiping the skin surface with a pad already allowed removing more than half of VX. FE-W was the less efficient (85% of VX removed). The other formulations (FE-PE, S-PE and S-W) resulted in more than 90% of the quantity of VX removed. The charge of particles was the most influential factor. The low pH of formulations containing silica favored electrostatic interactions of VX with particles explaining the better elimination from the skin surface. Formulations containing FE had basic pH, and weak interactions with VX did not improve the skin decontamination. However, these low interactions between VX and FE promote the transfer of VX into the oil droplets in the FE-PE.

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