Physical Means of Stratum Corneum Barrier Manipulation to Enhance Transdermal Drug Delivery

ISSN: 1875-5704 (Online)
ISSN: 1567-2018 (Print)

Volume 14, 8 Issues, 2017

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Current Drug Delivery

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Istvan Toth
School of Pharmacy,University of Queensland
Brisbane, 4072

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Physical Means of Stratum Corneum Barrier Manipulation to Enhance Transdermal Drug Delivery

Current Drug Delivery, 12(2): 122-138.

Author(s): Rabinarayan Parhi, Podilam Suresh and Suhasini Patnaik.

Affiliation: Department of Pharmaceutics, GITAM Institute of Pharmacy, GITAM University, Gandhi Nagar Campus, Rushikonda, Visakhapatnam-530045, Andhra Pradesh, India.


Since the approval of first transdermal patch (Transderm Scop®) containing scopolamine in 1979, the improvement in systemic drug delivery through skin remains incremental. The traditional methods based on passive diffusion of drug molecules in to the skin are unable to deliver macromolecules, such as peptides, proteins, DNA and vaccines, due to the barrier properties of stratum corneum (SC). During the course of approximately 35 years, the focuses are not only to overcome the above barrier property of the skin but also the safety, accuracy and patient compliance aspect of the traditional methods. The former limitation can be overcome by altering the SC barrier function by different active methods such electrically assisted methods (sonophoresis, iontophoresis, electroporation, magnetophoresis, pressure waves, electron beam irradiation), SC abruption (microneedles, high-velocity jet) and SC removal (tape-stripping, suction, microdermabrasion, ablation). This review summarizes basic principles, mechanisms, advantages, limitations and recent development of above physical techniques along with skin anatomy and drug transport pathways across skin.


Bilipid layer, Cavitation, Microneedle, Permeation, Physical methods, Transdermal drug delivery, Stratum corneum.

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Article Details

Volume: 12
Issue Number: 2
First Page: 122
Last Page: 138
Page Count: 17
DOI: 10.2174/1567201811666140515145329
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