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Journal of Pharmaceutics
Volume 2016, Article ID 5754349, 10 pages
Research Article

Formulation and Evaluation of Antibacterial Creams and Gels Containing Metal Ions for Topical Application

Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toledo, 3000 Arlington Ave., Toledo, OH 43614, USA

Received 5 July 2016; Accepted 12 October 2016

Academic Editor: Sumio Chono

Copyright © 2016 Mei X. Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Skin infections occur commonly and often present therapeutic challenges to practitioners due to the growing concerns regarding multidrug-resistant bacterial, viral, and fungal strains. The antimicrobial properties of zinc sulfate and copper sulfate are well known and have been investigated for many years. However, the synergistic activity between these two metal ions as antimicrobial ingredients has not been evaluated in topical formulations. Objective. The aims of the present study were to (1) formulate topical creams and gels containing zinc and copper alone or in combination and (2) evaluate the in vitro antibacterial activity of these metal ions in the formulations. Method. Formulation of the gels and creams was followed by evaluating their organoleptic characteristics, physicochemical properties, and in vitro antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Results. Zinc sulfate and copper sulfate had a strong synergistic antibacterial activity in the creams and gels. The minimum effective concentration was found to be 3 w/w% for both active ingredients against the two tested microorganisms. Conclusions. This study evaluated and confirmed the synergistic in vitro antibacterial effect of copper sulfate and zinc sulfate in a cream and two gels.