Scientific article

Skin permeability enhancement by low frequency sonophoresis: lipid extraction and transport pathways

Published inJournal of pharmaceutical sciences, vol. 92, no. 6, p. 1138-1146
Publication date2003

The objective of this study was to shed light on the mechanism(s) by which low-frequency ultrasound (20 KHz) enhances the permeability of the skin. The physical effects on the barrier and the transport pathway, in particular, were examined. The amount of lipid removed from the intercellular domains of the stratum corneum following sonophoresis was determined by infrared spectroscopy. Transport of the fluorescent probes nile red and calcein, under the influence of ultrasound, was evaluated by laser-scanning confocal microscopy. The results were compared with the appropriate passive control data and with data obtained from experiments in which the skin was exposed simply to the thermal effects induced by ultrasound treatment. A significant fraction ( approximately 30%) of the intercellular lipids of the stratum corneum, which are principally responsible for skin barrier function, were removed during the application of low-frequency sonophoresis. Although the confocal images from the nile red experiments were not particularly informative, ultrasound clearly and significantly (again, relative to the corresponding controls) facilitated transport of the hydrophilic calcein via discrete permeabilized regions, whereas other areas of the barrier were apparently unaffected. Lipid removal from the stratum corneum is implicated as a factor contributing the observed permeation enhancement effects of low-frequency ultrasound. However, microscopic observations imply that sonophoresis induces localized (aqueous?) permeation pathways at discrete sites.

  • Administration
  • Cutaneous
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Epidermis/metabolism
  • Fluoresceins/pharmacokinetics
  • Fluorescent Dyes/pharmacokinetics
  • Lipids/physiology
  • Microscopy
  • Confocal
  • Models
  • Biological
  • Oxazines/pharmacokinetics
  • Permeability
  • Skin Absorption/physiology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Fourier Transform Infrared
  • Swine
  • Ultrasonics
Citation (ISO format)
ALVAREZ ROMAN, Rocio et al. Skin permeability enhancement by low frequency sonophoresis: lipid extraction and transport pathways. In: Journal of pharmaceutical sciences, 2003, vol. 92, n° 6, p. 1138–1146. doi: 10.1002/jps.10370
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0022-3549

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