Synergistic effect of low-frequency ultrasound and surfactants on skin permeability.
ABSTRACT Low-frequency ultrasound (20 kHz) and surfactants have been individually shown to enhance transdermal drug transport. In this study, we investigated the synergistic effect of ultrasound and surfactants on transdermal drug delivery. Surfactants with different head group chemistries including anionic, cationic, and nonionic with varying tail lengths (8-16-carbon atoms) were studied. We found that surfactants possessing anionic and cationic head groups were more potent than those possessing nonionic head groups in increasing skin conductivity in the presence of ultrasound. Furthermore, for surfactants possessing the same head group, those with a 14-carbon tail length were found to be most effective in enhancing skin permeability. The data presented in this report show that ultrasound and surfactants synergistically enhance skin permeability. Two mechanisms are shown to play a role in this synergistic effect. First, ultrasound enhances surfactant delivery (enhanced delivery) into the skin and, second, ultrasound disperses surfactant (enhanced dispersion) within the skin. In general, surfactants that are potent enhancers by themselves are potent enhancers in the presence of ultrasound as well. We performed imaging experiments to assess the effect of ultrasound on delivery of a model permeant, sulforhodamine B, into the skin. These experiments show that ultrasound enhances surfactant delivery and dispersion in the skin.
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The use of ultrasound for the delivery of drugs to, or through, the skin is commonly known as sonophoresis or phonophoresis. The use of therapeutic and high frequencies of ultrasound (≥0.7MHz) for sonophoresis (HFS) dates back to as early as the 1950s, while low-frequency sonophoresis (LFS, 20-100kHz) has only been investigated significantly during the past two decades. Although HFS and LFS are similar because they both utilize ultrasound to increase the skin penetration of permeants, the mechanisms associated with each physical enhancer are different. Specifically, the location of cavitation and the extent to which each process can increase skin permeability are quite dissimilar. Although the applications of both technologies are different, they each have strengths that could allow them to improve current methods of local, regional, and systemic drug delivery. In this review, we will discuss the mechanisms associated with both HFS and LFS, specifically concentrating on the key mechanistic differences between these two skin treatment methods. Background on the relevant physics associated with ultrasound transmitted through aqueous media will also be discussed, along with implications of these phenomena on sonophoresis. Finally, a thorough review of the literature is included, dating back to the first published reports of sonophoresis, including a discussion of emerging trends in the field.Journal of Controlled Release 01/2011; 152(3):330-48. · 5.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Chemical penetration enhancers are often used to enhance transdermal drug delivery. However, the fundamental mechanisms that govern the interactions between penetration enhancers and skin are not fully understood. Therefore, the goal of this work was to identify naturally fluorescent penetration enhancers (FPEs) in order to utilize well-established fluorescence techniques to directly study the behavior of FPEs within skin. In this study, 12 fluorescent molecules with amphiphilic characteristics were evaluated as skin penetration enhancers. Eight of the molecules exhibited significant activity as skin penetration enhancers, determined using skin current enhancement ratios. In addition, to illustrate the novel, direct, and non-invasive visualization of the behavior of FPEs within skin, three case studies involving the use of two-photon fluorescence microscopy (TPM) are presented, including visualizing glycerol-mitigated and ultrasound-enhanced FPE skin penetration. Previous TPM studies have indirectly visualized the effect of penetration enhancers on the skin by using a fluorescent dye to probe the transdermal pathways of the enhancer. These effects can now be directly visualized and investigated using FPEs. Finally, future studies are proposed for generating FPE design principles. The combination of FPEs with fluorescence techniques represents a useful novel approach for obtaining physical insights on the behavior of penetration enhancers within the skin.Journal of Controlled Release 10/2011; 158(1):85-92. · 5.73 Impact Factor
Article: A physical mechanism to explain the delivery of chemical penetration enhancers into skin during transdermal sonophoresis - Insight into the observed synergism.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The synergism between low-frequency sonophoresis (LFS) and chemical penetration enhancers (CPEs), especially surfactants, in transdermal enhancement has been investigated extensively since this phenomenon was first observed over a decade ago. In spite of the identifying that the origin of this synergism is the increased penetration and subsequent dispersion of CPEs in the skin in response to LFS treatment, to date, no mechanism has been directly proposed to explain how LFS induces the observed increased transport of CPEs. In this study, we propose a plausible physical mechanism by which the transport of all CPEs is expected to have significantly increased flux into the localized-transport regions (LTRs) of LFS-treated skin. Specifically, the collapse of acoustic cavitation microjets within LTRs induces a convective flux. In addition, because amphiphilic molecules preferentially adsorb onto the gas/water interface of cavitation bubbles, amphiphiles have an additional adsorptive flux. In this sense, the cavitation bubbles effectively act as carriers for amphiphilic molecules, delivering surfactants directly into the skin when they collapse at the skin surface as cavitation microjets. The flux equations derived for CPE delivery into the LTRs and non-LTRs during LFS treatment, compared to that for untreated skin, explain why the transport of all CPEs, and to an even greater extent amphiphilic CPEs, is increased during LFS treatment. The flux model is tested with a non-amphiphilic CPE (propylene glycol) and both nonionic and ionic amphiphilic CPEs (octyl glucoside and sodium lauryl sulfate, respectively), by measuring the flux of each CPE into untreated skin and the LTRs and non-LTRs of LFS-treated skin. The resulting data shows very good agreement with the proposed flux model.Journal of Controlled Release 11/2011; 158(2):250-60. · 5.73 Impact Factor