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      Transdermal drug delivery

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      Nature Biotechnology

      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          Abstract

          Transdermal drug delivery has made an important contribution to medical practice, but has yet to fully achieve its potential as an alternative to oral delivery and hypodermic injections. First-generation transdermal delivery systems have continued their steady increase in clinical use for delivery of small, lipophilic, low-dose drugs. Second-generation delivery systems using chemical enhancers, noncavitational ultrasound and iontophoresis have also resulted in clinical products; the ability of iontophoresis to control delivery rates in real time provides added functionality. Third-generation delivery systems target their effects to skin's barrier layer of stratum corneum using microneedles, thermal ablation, microdermabrasion, electroporation and cavitational ultrasound. Microneedles and thermal ablation are currently progressing through clinical trials for delivery of macromolecules and vaccines, such as insulin, parathyroid hormone and influenza vaccine. Using these novel second- and third-generation enhancement strategies, transdermal delivery is poised to significantly increase its impact on medicine.

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          Most cited references50

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          Current status and future potential of transdermal drug delivery.

          The past twenty five years have seen an explosion in the creation and discovery of new medicinal agents. Related innovations in drug delivery systems have not only enabled the successful implementation of many of these novel pharmaceuticals, but have also permitted the development of new medical treatments with existing drugs. The creation of transdermal delivery systems has been one of the most important of these innovations, offering a number of advantages over the oral route. In this article, we discuss the already significant impact this field has made on the administration of various pharmaceuticals; explore limitations of the current technology; and discuss methods under exploration for overcoming these limitations and the challenges ahead.
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            Penetration enhancers.

            One long-standing approach for improving transdermal drug delivery uses penetration enhancers (also called sorption promoters or accelerants) which penetrate into skin to reversibly decrease the barrier resistance. Numerous compounds have been evaluated for penetration enhancing activity, including sulphoxides (such as dimethylsulphoxide, DMSO), Azones (e.g. laurocapram), pyrrolidones (for example 2-pyrrolidone, 2P), alcohols and alkanols (ethanol, or decanol), glycols (for example propylene glycol, PG, a common excipient in topically applied dosage forms), surfactants (also common in dosage forms) and terpenes. Many potential sites and modes of action have been identified for skin penetration enhancers; the intercellular lipid matrix in which the accelerants may disrupt the packing motif, the intracellular keratin domains or through increasing drug partitioning into the tissue by acting as a solvent for the permeant within the membrane. Further potential mechanisms of action, for example with the enhancers acting on desmosomal connections between corneocytes or altering metabolic activity within the skin, or exerting an influence on the thermodynamic activity/solubility of the drug in its vehicle are also feasible, and are also considered in this review.
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              Dissolving microneedles for transdermal drug delivery.

              Microfabrication technology has been adapted to produce micron-scale needles as a safer and painless alternative to hypodermic needle injection, especially for protein biotherapeutics and vaccines. This study presents a design that encapsulates molecules within microneedles that dissolve within the skin for bolus or sustained delivery and leave behind no biohazardous sharp medical waste. A fabrication process was developed based on casting a viscous aqueous solution during centrifugation to fill a micro-fabricated mold with biocompatible carboxymethylcellulose or amylopectin formulations. This process encapsulated sulforhodamine B, bovine serum albumin, and lysozyme; lysozyme was shown to retain full enzymatic activity after encapsulation and to remain 96% active after storage for 2 months at room temperature. Microneedles were also shown to be strong enough to insert into cadaver skin and then to dissolve within minutes. Bolus delivery was achieved by encapsulating molecules just within microneedle shafts. For the first time, sustained delivery over hours to days was achieved by encapsulating molecules within the microneedle backing, which served as a controlled release reservoir that delivered molecules by a combination of swelling the backing with interstitial fluid drawn out of the skin and molecule diffusion into the skin via channels formed by dissolved microneedles. We conclude that dissolving microneedles can be designed to gently encapsulate molecules, insert into skin, and enable bolus or sustained release delivery.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Biotechnology
                Nat Biotechnol
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1087-0156
                1546-1696
                November 2008
                November 7 2008
                November 2008
                : 26
                : 11
                : 1261-1268
                Article
                10.1038/nbt.1504
                2700785
                18997767
                5f16b6a2-e50f-4a30-953a-7e35e8edfa05
                © 2008

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