Investigation of the Efficacy of Transdermal Penetration Enhancers Through the Use of Human Skin and a Skin Mimic Artificial Membrane

Boglárka Balázs, Gábor Vizserálek, Szilvia Berkó, Mária Budai-Szucs, András Kelemen, Bálint Sinkó, K. Takács-Novák, P. Szabó-Révész, Erzsébet Csányi

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate the behavior of promising penetration enhancers through the use of 2 different skin test systems. Hydrogel-based transdermal formulations were developed with ibuprofen as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Transcutol and sucrose esters were used as biocompatible penetration enhancers. The permeability measurements were performed with ex vivo Franz diffusion cell methods and a newly developed Skin Parallel Artificial Membrane Permeability Assays (PAMPA) model. Franz diffusion measurement is commonly used as a research tool in studies of diffusion through synthetic membranes in vitro or penetration through ex vivo human skin, whereas Skin PAMPA involves recently published artificial membrane-based technology for the fast prediction of skin penetration. It is a 96-well plate-based model with optimized artificial membrane structure containing free fatty acid, cholesterol, and synthetic ceramide analog compounds to mimic the stratum corneum barrier function. Transdermal preparations containing 2.64% of different sucrose esters and/or Transcutol and a constant (5%) of ibuprofen were investigated to determine the effects of these penetration enhancers. The study demonstrated the good correlation of the permeability data obtained through use of human skin membrane and the in vitro Skin PAMPA system. The Skin PAMPA artificial membrane serves as quick and relatively deep tool in the early stages of transdermal delivery systems, through which the enhancing efficacy of excipients can be screened so as to facilitate the choice of effective penetration components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1134-1140
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016



  • hydrogels
  • in vitro models
  • permeability
  • permeation enhancers
  • skin
  • surfactants
  • transdermal
  • transdermal drug delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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