Label-free chemical contrast is highly desirable in biomedical imaging. Spontaneous Raman microscopy provides specific vibrational signatures of chemical bonds, but is often hindered by low sensitivity. Here we report a three-dimensional multiphoton vibrational imaging technique based on stimulated Raman scattering (SRS). The sensitivity of SRS imaging is significantly greater than that of spontaneous Raman microscopy, which is achieved by implementing high-frequency (megahertz) phase-sensitive detection. SRS microscopy has a major advantage over previous coherent Raman techniques in that it offers background-free and readily interpretable chemical contrast. We show a variety of biomedical applications, such as differentiating distributions of omega-3 fatty acids and saturated lipids in living cells, imaging of brain and skin tissues based on intrinsic lipid contrast, and monitoring drug delivery through the epidermis.
Optical imaging in vivo with molecular specificity is important in biomedicine because of its high spatial resolution and sensitivity compared to MRI. Stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy allows highly sensitive optical imaging based on vibrational spectroscopy without adding toxic or perturbative labels. However, SRS tissue imaging in living animals and humans has not been feasible because of weak signals from thick tissues and motion blur due to limited acquisition speed. Here we make in vivo SRS imaging possible by significantly enhancing the collection of the backscattered signal and by increasing the imaging speed by three orders of magnitude, to video rate. This allows label-free in vivo imaging of water, lipid and protein in skin and mapping of penetration pathways of topically-applied drugs in mice and humans.
Stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy is a newly developed label-free chemical imaging technique that overcomes the speed limitation of confocal Raman while avoiding the nonresonant-background problem of coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy. Previous demonstrations were limited to single Raman band measurement. We present a novel modulation multiplexing approach that allows real-time detection of multiple species using the fast Fourier-transform. We demonstrate quantitative determination of chemical concentration of a ternary mixture. Furthermore, two imaging applications are pursued: (1) quantitative determination of oil content, as well as pigment and protein concentration in microalgae cultures; (2) 3D high resolution imaging of blood, lipids, and protein distribution in ex vivo mouse skin tissue. We believe quantitative multiplex SRS uniquely combines the advantage of fast label-free imaging with the fingerprinting capability of Raman spectroscopy and enables numerous applications lipid biology as well as biomedical imaging.
Transdermal drug delivery has attracted much attention as an alternative to intravenous and oral methods of delivery. But the main barrier is stratum corneum. Terpenes classes of chemical enhancers are used in transdermal formulations for facilitating penetration of drugs. The aim of the study is to evaluate terpenes as skin penetration enhancers and correlate its relationship with permeation and lipophilicity. In this study, alfuzosin hydrochloride (AH) hydrogels were prepared with terpenes using Taguchi orthogonal array experimental design. The formulations contained one of eight terpenes, based on their lipophilicity (log P 2.13-5.36). The percutaneous permeation was studied in rat skin using diffusion cell technique. Flux, cumulative amount, lag time and skin content of AH were measured over 24 hours and compared with control gels. Nerolidol with highest lipophilicity (log P 5.36 ± 0.38) showed highest cumulative amount (Q24) of 647.29 ± 18.76 μg/cm2 and fluxrateof 28.16 ± 0.64 μg/cm2/hour. It showed decreased lag time of 0.76 ± 0.15 hours. Fenchone (2.5%) (log P 2.13 ± 0.30) produced the longest lag time 4.8 ± 0.20 hours. The rank order of enhancement effect was shown as nerolidol > farnesol > limonene > linalool > geraniol > carvone > fenchone > menthol. Lowest skin content was seen with carvone. Increase in lipophilicity of terpenes showed increase in flux, cumulative amount (Q24), and enhancement ratio which was significant with P < 0.000. But lag time was decreased and no correlation was found between lipophilicity and skin content. Histological studies showed changes in dermis which can be attributed to disruption of lipid packing of stratum corneum due to effect of nerolidol within lipid lamellae. It was found that small alcoholic terpenes with high degree of unsaturation enhance permeation of hydrophilic drugs, liquid terpenes enhance better than solid terpenes and terpenes with high lipophilicity are good penetration enhancers.
Alfuzosin hydrochloride; lipophilicity; taguchi robust design method; terpenes; transdermal permeation
The objective of this study was to prepare a suitable formulation for dermal delivery of diflucortolone valerate (DFV) that would maintain the localization in skin layers without any penetration and to optimize efficiency of DFV. Drug-loaded lecithin/chitosan nanoparticles with high entrapment efficiency (86.8%), were successfully prepared by ionic interaction technique. Sustained release of DFV was achieved without any initial burst release. Nanoparticles were also incorporated into chitosan gel at different ratios for preparing a more suitable formulation for topical drug delivery with adequate viscosity. In ex-vivo permeation studies, nanoparticles increased the accumulation of DFV especially in the stratum corneum + epidermis of rat skin without any significant permeation. Retention of DFV from nanoparticle in chitosan gel formulation (0.01%) was twofold higher than commercial cream, although it contained ten times less DFV. Nanoparticles in gel formulations produced significantly higher edema inhibition in rats compared with commercial cream in in-vivo studies. Skin blanching assay using a chromameter showed vasoconstriction similar to that of the commercial product. There were no barrier function changes upon application of nanoparticles. In-vitro and in-vivo results demonstrated that lecithin/chitosan nanoparticles in chitosan gel may be a promising carrier for dermal delivery of DFV in various skin disorders.
skin permeation; anti-inflammatory activity; skin blanching; TEWL
This review presents an introduction to Raman scattering and describes the various Raman spectroscopy, Raman microscopy, and chemical imaging techniques that have demonstrated utility in biocolloidal self-assemblies, pharmaceutical drug delivery systems, and pulmonary research applications. Recent Raman applications to pharmaceutical aerosols in the context of pulmonary inhalation aerosol delivery are discussed. The “molecular fingerprint” insight that Raman applications provide includes molecular structure, drug-carrier/excipient interactions, intramolecular and intermolecular bonding, surface structure, surface and interfacial interactions, and the functional groups involved therein. The molecular, surface, and interfacial properties that Raman characterization can provide are particularly important in respirable pharmaceutical powders, as these particles possess a higher surface-area-to-volume ratio; hence, understanding the nature of these solid surfaces can enable their manipulation and tailoring for functionality at the nanometer level for targeted pulmonary delivery and deposition. Moreover, Raman mapping of aerosols at the micro- and nanometer level of resolution is achievable with new, sophisticated, commercially available Raman microspectroscopy techniques. This noninvasive, highly versatile analytical and imaging technique exhibits vast potential for in vitro and in vivo molecular investigations of pulmonary aerosol delivery, lung deposition, and pulmonary cellular drug uptake and disposition in unfixed living pulmonary cells.
Spectroscopy; microscopy; imaging; molecular; interfacial; lung; mapping
Surfactants are found in many existing therapeutic, cosmetic, and agro-chemical preparations. In recent years, surfactants have been employed to enhance the permeation rates of several drugs via transdermal route. The application of transdermal route to a wider range of drugs is limited due to significant barrier to penetration across the skin which is associated with the outermost stratum corneum layer. Surfactants have effects on the permeability characteristics of several biological membranes including skin. They have the potential to solubilize lipids within the stratum corneum. The penetration of the surfactant molecule into the lipid lamellae of the stratum corneum is strongly dependent on the partitioning behavior and solubility of surfactant. Surfactants ranging from hydrophobic agents such as oleic acid to hydrophilic sodium lauryl sulfate have been tested as permeation enhancer to improve drug delivery. This article reviews the status of surfactants as permeation enhancer in transdermal drug delivery of various drugs.
Penetration enhancer; surfactant; skin; sodium lauryl sulfate; Tween 80
The main disadvantage of transdermal drug delivery is the poor penetration of most compounds into the human skin. The main barrier of the skin is located within its uppermost layer, the stratum corneum (SC). Several approaches have been developed to weaken this skin barrier. One of the approaches for increasing the skin penetration of drugs and many cosmetic chemicals is the use of vesicular systems, such as, liposomes and ethosomes. Ethosomes are phospholipid-based elastic nanovesicles containing a high content of ethanol (20–45%). Ethanol is known as an efficient permeation enhancer and has been added in the vesicular systems to prepare elastic nanovesicles. It can interact with the polar head group region of the lipid molecules, resulting in the reduction of the melting point of the stratum corneum lipid, thereby increasing lipid fluidity and cell membrane permeability. The high flexibility of vesicular membranes from the added ethanol permits the elastic vesicles to squeeze themselves through the pores, which are much smaller than their diameters. Ethosomal systems are much more efficient in delivering substances to the skin in the terms of quantity and depth, than either conventional liposomes or hydroalcoholic solutions. The scope of this small review is to introduce the novel concept of ethosomes and to describe some approaches and mechanisms of stimulating topical and transdermal products with ethosomes.
Ethosomes; liposomes; novel drug delivery; penetration enhancer; Percutaneous absorption
Polyphenolic resveratrol has been identified as a potent antioxidant acting as both a free radical scavenger and an inhibitor of enzyme oxidative activity. However, the reactive propensity of resveratrol also limits its use in topical formulations. A transient derivative of resveratrol, resveratrol triphosphate, has been designed to provide a means for the delayed delivery of the active compound in skin tissue where endogenous enzymes capable of dephosphorylation reside. Confocal Raman microscopy studies of intact pigskin biopsies treated with modified resveratrol provided information about the spatial distribution and time-dependence of permeation and conversion to the native active form. Conversion to the active form was not observed when skin samples were exposed to steam, a procedure that likely inactivates endogenous skin enzymes. In addition, treatment with the triphosphate compared to the parent compound revealed a more homogeneous distribution of resveratrol throughout the stratum corneum and viable epidermis when the former was applied. Thus, the bioavailability of resveratrol in the epidermis appears to be enhanced upon application of the pro-molecule compared to resveratrol.
confocal Raman spectroscopy; resveratrol; permeation; prodrug; epidermis
Transdermal drug delivery has become an important means of drug administration. It presents numerous advantages but it is still limited by the small number of drugs with a suitable profile. The use of solvents that affect the skin barrier function is one of the classic strategies of penetration enhancement. Some of these solvents have well characterised actions on the stratum corneum, but the majority are still selected using empirical criteria. The objective of this work was to conduct a systematic study on the ability to affect skin permeation of solvents commonly used in transdermal formulations. An innovative methodology in this area was employed, consisting of the combination of skin surface biopsy with colorimetry.
The study compared in vivo differences in the permeation of a hydrophilic (methylene blue) and a lipophilic (Sudan III) dye, after treatment of the skin with different vehicles. Consecutive skin surface biopsies of each site were taken and the cumulative amounts of the dyes in the stripped stratum corneum were measured by reflectance colourimetry.
Results indicate that the amount of methylene blue present in the stratum corneum varied significantly with different skin pre-treatments. Some solvents provided a 1.5 fold penetration enhancement but others decreased by almost half the permeation of the dye. The permeation of Sudan III was less significantly affected by solvent pre-treatment.
This study has only superficially explored the potential of the combination of skin surface biopsy and colourimetry, but the encouraging results obtained confirm that the methodology can be extended to the study of more complex formulations.
Imaging of nucleic acids is important for studying cellular processes such as cell division and apoptosis. A noninvasive label-free technique is attractive. Raman spectroscopy provides rich chemical information based on specific vibrational peaks. However, the signal from spontaneous Raman scattering is weak and long integration times are required, which drastically limits the imaging speed when used for microscopy. Coherent Raman scattering techniques, comprising coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) and stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy, overcome this problem by enhancing the signal level by up to five orders of magnitude. CARS microscopy suffers from a nonresonant background signal, which distorts Raman spectra and limits sensitivity. This makes CARS imaging of weak transitions in spectrally congested regions challenging. This is especially the case in the fingerprint region, where nucleic acids show characteristic peaks. The recently developed SRS microscopy is free from these limitations; excitation spectra are identical to those of spontaneous Raman and sensitivity is close to shot-noise limited. Here we demonstrate the use of SRS imaging in the fingerprint region to map the distribution of nucleic acids in addition to proteins and lipids in single salivary gland cells of Drosophila larvae, and in single mammalian cells. This allows the imaging of DNA condensation associated with cell division and opens up possibilities of imaging such processes in vivo.
CARS; SRS; Microscopy; live cells; DNA
This review presents an overview about pharmaceutical and cosmetic topical products containing polymeric nanoparticles (nanospheres and nanocapsules), reporting the main preparation and characterization methods and the studies of penetration and transport of substances through the skin. The penetration and transport extent of those systems through the skin depends on the ingredients chemical composition, on the encapsulation mechanism influencing the drug release, on the size of nanoparticles and on the viscosity of the formulations. The polymeric nanoparticles are able to modify the activity of drugs, delay and control the drug release, and increase the drug adhesivity or its time of permanence in the skin. Briefly, the nanoparticles can be useful as reservoirs of lipophilic drugs to deliver them in the stratum corneum becoming an important strategy to control their permeation into the skin.
polymeric nanoparticles; nanocapsules; semi-solid formulations; topical formulation; skin; sunscreen
The barrier functions of the stratum corneum (SC) and the epidermal layers present a tremendous challenge in achieving effective transdermal delivery of drug molecules. Although a few reports have shown that poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers are effective skin penetration enhancers, little is known regarding the fundamental mechanisms behind the dendrimer-skin interactions. In this paper, we have performed a systematic study to better elucidate how dendrimers interact with skin layers depending on their size and surface groups. Franz diffusion cells and confocal microscopy were employed to observe dendrimer interactions with full-thickness porcine skin samples. We have found that smaller PAMAM dendrimers (generation 2 (G2)) penetrate the skin layers more efficiently than the larger ones (G4). We have also found that G2 PAMAM dendrimers that are surface modified by either acetylation or carboxylation exhibit increased skin permeation and likely diffuse through an extracellular pathway. In contrast, amine-terminated dendrimers show enhanced cell internalization and skin retention but reduced skin permeation. In addition, conjugation of oleic acid (OA) to G2 dendrimers increases their 1-octanol/PBS partition coefficient, resulting in increased skin absorption and retention. Here we report that size, surface charge, and hydrophobicity directly dictate the permeation route and efficiency of dendrimer translocation across the skin layers, providing a design guideline for engineering PAMAM dendrimers as a potential transdermal delivery vector.
PAMAM dendrimer; transdermal delivery; surface modification; oleic acid; partition coefficient
We report in vivo nonlinear optical imaging of mouse sciatic nerve tissue by epidetected coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering and second harmonic generation microscopy. Following a minimally invasive surgery to open the skin, coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering imaging of myelinated axons and second harmonic generation imaging of the surrounding collagen fibres were demonstrated with high signal-to-background ratio, three-dimensional spatial resolution, and no need for labelling. The underlying contrast mechanisms of in vivo coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering were explored by three-dimensional imaging of fat cells that surround the nerve. The epidetected coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering signals from the nerve tissues were found to arise from interfaces as well as back reflection of forward coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering.
Coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering; in vivo imaging; myelin
In this study we tested the hypothesis that magainin, a peptide known to form pores in bacterial cell membranes, can increase skin permeability by disrupting stratum corneum lipid structure. We further hypothesized that magainin's enhancement requires co-administration with a surfactant chemical enhancer to increase magainin penetration into the skin. In support of these hypotheses, exposure to a known surfactant chemical enhancer, N-lauroyl sarcosine (NLS), in 50% ethanol solution increased in vitro skin permeability to fluorescein 15 fold and the combination of magainin and NLS-ethanol synergistically increased skin permeability 47 fold. In contrast, skin permeability was unaffected by exposure to magainin without co-enhancement by NLS-ethanol. Furthermore, confocal microscopy showed that magainin in the presence of NLS-ethanol penetrated deeply and extensively into stratum corneum, whereas magainin alone penetrated poorly into the skin. Additional analysis by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and differential scanning calorimetry showed that NLS-ethanol disrupted stratum corneum lipid structure and that the combination of magainin and NLS-ethanol disrupted stratum corneum lipids even further. Altogether, these data suggest that NLS-ethanol increased magainin penetration into stratum corneum, which further increased stratum corneum lipid disruption and skin permeability. We believe this is the first study to demonstrate the use of a pore-forming peptide to increase skin permeability. This study also introduces the novel concept of using a first chemical enhancer to increase penetration of a second chemical enhancer into the skin to synergistically increase skin permeability to a model drug.
Antimicrobial pore-forming peptide; Magainin; N-lauroylsarcosine; Stratum corneum; Surfactant chemical enhancer; Transdermal drug delivery.
Niosomes play an increasingly important role in drug delivery as they can reduce toxicity and modify pharmacokinetic and bio-availability. Topically applied niosomes can increase the residence time of drugs in the stratum corneum and epidermis, while reducing the systemic absorption of the drug. It can act as drug containing reservoirs and the modification of the vesicular compositions or surface properties can adjust the drug release rate and the affinity for the target site. Ketoconazole is a broad spectrum Imidazole derivative useful in the treatment of superficial and systemic fungal infections.
Materials and Methods:
In order to improve the low skin penetration and to minimize the side effects associated with topical conventional drug administration, Ketoconazole niosomes were prepared by a thin film hydration method using different ratios of non-ionic surfactants (Span 40, 60 and Tween 60) along with cholesterol (CHO). The formulations were evaluated for size, shape, entrapment efficiency and in vitro drug release.
Niosomes appeared spherical in shape and size range was found to be 4.86 ± 1.24-7.38 ± 3.64 μm. The entrapment efficiency was found in the range of 55.14 ± 2.29-78.63 ± 0.91% and in vitro drug release in the range of 46.63 ± 0.95-72.37 ± 0.59% in 24 h. Ketoconazole niosomes formulated with Span 60 and CHO in the ratio of 1:0.2 were found to be promising and were incorporated into 1% Carbopol gel. The formulated gel was evaluated for various physicochemical parameters and antifungal activity. The in vitro drug release study was carried out using phosphate buffer saline pH 7.4 and was found to be 36.18 ± 1.50% in 12 h.
Gel formulation containing niosomes loaded with Ketoconazole showed prolonged action than formulations containing Ketoconazole in non-niosomal form and it can be developed successfully to improve the antifungal activity.
Ketoconazole; in vitro drug release studies; niosomes; skin permeation
Coherent Raman scattering methods allow for label-free imaging of tissue with chemical contrast and high spatial and temporal resolution. However, their imaging depth in scattering tissue is limited to less than 1 mm, requiring the development of endoscopes to obtain images deep inside the body. Here, we describe a coherent Raman endoscope that provides stimulated Raman scattering images at seven frames per second using a miniaturized fiber scanner, a custom-designed objective lens, and an optimized scheme for collection of scattered light from the tissue. We characterize the system and demonstrate chemical selectivity in mouse tissue images.
Label-free microscopy based on Raman scattering has been increasingly used in biomedical research to image samples that cannot be labeled or stained. Stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy, allows signal amplification of the weak Raman signal for fast imaging speeds without introducing the non-resonant background and coherent image artifacts that are present in coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy. Here we present the Raman-induced Kerr effect (RIKE) as a contrast for label-free microscopy. RIKE allows us to measure different elements of the non-linear susceptibility tensor, both the real and imaginary parts by optical heterodyne detection (OHD-RIKE). OHD-RIKE microscopy provides information similar to polarization CARS (P-CARS) and interferometric CARS (I-CARS) microscopy, with a simple modification of the two-beam SRS microscopy setup. We show that while OHD-RIKE micro-spectroscopy can be in principle more sensitive than SRS, it does not supersede SRS microscopy of heterogeneous biological samples, such as mouse skin tissue, because it is complicated by variations of linear birefringence across the sample.
Transcutaneous vaccines have received wide attention due to their easy-to-use, needle-free, noninvasive delivery. However, the novel barrier function of stratum corneum hinders the transport of antigen and adjuvant in transcutaneous immunization. Novel nanoscale delivery systems employing, for example, liposomes and nanoparticles, have been widely investigated to overcome the penetration barrier of stratum corneum for effective transcutaneous immunization.
The objective of this study was to prepare two types of flexible liposomes and determine their efficacies for the transcutaneous delivery of antigen and the subsequent immune response induced in vivo.
Ovalbumin (OVA) liposome-based transcutaneous vaccines were prepared using reverse-phase evaporation and film-dispersion methods. Particle sizes and antigen encapsulating efficiency were then evaluated. After application to bare mouse skin, topical sites were examined for the presence of fluorescence-labeled liposome. The efficacy of the transcutaneously delivered OVA-loaded flexible liposome in activating the immune responses was investigated by detecting serum immunoglobulin G levels. The influence of an adjuvant, imiquimod, in the transcutaneous immunization was also tested.
Two flexible liposomes with well-encapsulated OVA were successfully prepared by film-dispersion or reverse-phase evaporation methods. The sizes of the prepared flexible liposomes ranged from 200 to 400 nm. In vivo, the fluorescence-labeled liposome was detected in hair-follicle ducts, indicating that the flexible liposome can penetrate the skin barrier through the hair follicles. Upon transcutaneous administration, the OVA-encapsulated flexible liposome elicited a strong immune response similar to that of positive control (ie, OVA solution administrated by subcutaneous injection with Al(OH)3 as an adjuvant). Co-administration of imiquimod with the OVA-loaded liposome expressed a significant enhancement on the transcutaneous immune responses.
Results of this study highlight the nanoscale formulation, flexible liposome, as a promising carrier for the transcutaneous delivery of antigen proteins. Imiquimod was shown to be an effective adjuvant as a transcutaneous immunization enhancer with the potential for transcutaneous vaccine development.
flexible liposome; transcutaneous vaccine; immunization enhancement; adjuvant
Trichophyton mentagrophytes invasion of guinea pig skin was examined by scanning electron microscopy. Biopsies were obtained daily for 12 days from experimental infection sites. Dermatophyte invasion, examined in detail by scanning electron microscopy of cross-sectioned, prefixed skin was evidenced by: the appearance of hyphae within the stratum corneum; follicular invasion by hyphae, which remained initially within the follicle wall; emergence of the hyphae from the wall into the follicular canal; proliferation of the fungus down the follicle, with furrowing of the follicle wall and hair shaft cuticle; penetration of hyphae into the hair shaft by subcuticular and transcuticular routes; and massive peripilar hyphal proliferation with arthrosporogenesis. A three-dimensional perception of the invasion sequence of a dermatophyte in guinea pig skin was obtained by scanning electron microscopy.
Vesicles that are specifically designed to overcome the stratum corneum barrier in intact skin provide an efficient transdermal (systemic or local) drug delivery system. They can be classified into two main groups according to the mechanisms underlying their skin interaction. The first group comprises those possessing highly deformable bilayers, achieved by incorporating edge activators to the bilayers or by mixing with certain hydrophilic solutes. The vesicles of this group act as drug carriers that penetrate across hydrophilic pathways of the intact skin. The second group comprises those possessing highly fluid bilayers, owing to the presence of permeation enhancers. The vesicles of this group can act as carriers of drugs that permeate the skin after the barrier of the stratum corneum is altered because of synergistic action with the permeation enhancers contained in the vesicle structure. We have included a detailed overview of the different mechanisms of skin interaction and discussed the most promising preclinical applications of the last five years of Transfersomes® (IDEA AG, Munich, Germany), ethosomes, and invasomes as carriers of antitumoral and anti-inflammatory drugs applied by the topical route.
Transfersomes; ethosomes; antitumoral; anti-inflammatory; topical delivery
An interesting nanoscale interfacial phenomenon mediated by gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) was found, in that co-administration with Au-NPs enables percutaneous delivery of protein drugs. The Au-NPs with a mean size of 5 nm were revealed to be skin permeable, presumably due to the nano-bio interaction with skin lipids and the consequent induction of transient and reversible openings on the stratum corneum. Importantly, when simultaneously applied with Au-NPs, the protein drugs were also granted the ability to penetrate the skin barrier and migrate into the deep layers. This indicated that co-administration with the skin-permeable Au-NPs could mediate proteins across the skin barrier. Such co-delivery effect highlights a simple yet effective method for overcoming the skin barrier for percutaneous protein drug delivery. Employing this method, a noninvasive vaccine delivery strategy was developed, and by topically co-administrating antigens with Au-NPs, robust immune responses were elicited in the tested animals. The results provide the promise for achieving a needleless and self-administrable transcutaneous vaccination.
drug delivery; percutaneous protein absorption; gold nanoparticle; co-delivery; transcutaneous immunization
This study aimed to investigate the effect of a novel kind of immune-stimulating complexes (ISCOMs) on human skin penetration of model compounds in vitro to evaluate their potential as a delivery system, ultimately for transcutaneous vaccination. Special focus was on elucidating the mechanisms of penetration. Preparation of ISCOMs was done by dialysis and subsequent purification in a sucrose density gradient. The penetration pathways of acridine-labeled ISCOMs were visualized using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to evaluate the ultrastructural changes in the skin after application of the ISCOMs with or without hydration. Transcutaneous permeation of the model compound, methyl nicotinate, was evaluated in diffusion cells. The prepared ISCOMs were 42–52 nm in diameter as evaluated by dynamic light scattering with zeta potentials of −33 to −26.1 mV. TEM investigations verified the presence of ISCOM structures. Penetration of acridine into skin was greatly increased by incorporation into ISCOMs as visualized by CLSM. Permeation of methyl nicotinate was enhanced in the presence of ISCOMs. Ultrastructural changes of the intercellular space in the stratum corneum after exposure of ISCOMs were observed on micrographs, especially for hydrated skin. In conclusion, cutaneous application of ISCOMs leads to increased penetration of hydrophobic model compounds through human stratum corneum and thus shows potential as a transcutaneous delivery system. The increased penetration seems to be reflected by a change in the intercellular space between the corneocytes, and the effect is most likely caused by the components of the ISCOMs rather than intact ISCOMs.
CLSM; penetration; Posintro™; TEM; vaccine
An increasing number of formulations are applied to equine skin, yet variable penetration can affect efficacy, or the incidence of adverse effects, or both. To investigate the effects of common methods of skin preparation on transdermal drug penetration in vitro, we clipped, harvested, and froze skin samples from 5 Thoroughbred geldings. Thawed samples were prepared as follows: control (no preparation); cleaned with aqueous chlorhexidine (Aq-C, 0.1% w/v); cleaned with alcoholic chlorhexidine (Al-C, 0.5% w/v); shaved (Sh); or tape-stripped (Ta) with the use of adhesive tape. The samples were then placed in diffusion cells, and 2 g of methylsalicylate (MeSa) gel (Dencorub) was applied to the stratum corneum side. The penetration of MeSa and its analyte, salicylate (Sa), through the skin samples was measured over 10 h. Compared with control skin, significantly more MeSa penetrated through skin prepared with Al-C or Sh (P < 0.01) or with Aq-C or Ta (P < 0.05), and significantly more Sa was recovered in the receptor phase from skin prepared with Aq-C, Al-C, or Sh (P < 0.05) or with Ta (P < 0.01). A significantly higher rate of penetration and shorter lag time were also noted for MeSa with all the prepared skin samples, compared with the control samples. The results show that clinical techniques routinely used to clean or prepare skin can significantly affect the rate and extent of penetration of a topically applied drug. This may result in greater systemic availability of active drug, which could lead to enhanced efficacy and, possibly, a higher incidence of adverse effects.
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 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 skin.
Skin permeation enhancer; transdermal drug delivery; lipid membrane fluorescent probe; fluorescent amphiphiles; surface-active fluorescent dyes; two-photon fluorescence microscopy