Melatonin is a hormone used for treating several disorders. However, its oral administration is problematic due to the variable absorption and extensive first-pass metabolism. The topical application of this drug does not present these disadvantages and can be used for therapeutic and skin protection purposes. The adsorption and release of melatonin in the montmorillonite clay was investigated experimentally and theoretically. The drug-clay interaction products were prepared and characterized, showing a modified and improved diffusion and release of melatonin. The crystal structure and spectroscopic properties of melatonin and melatonin-water-mineral materials were studied by molecular modeling, finding that the adsorption of this drug is energetically favourable, and the results were consistent with the experimental data. Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations with the metadynamics methodology showed the release of melatonin from the confined interlayer nanospace of montmorillonite to the liquid bulk water with a 20 kcal/mol free energy barrier.
Melatonin; molecular modelling; adsorption; clays; modified drug release; molecular dynamics
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