Electroporation and transcutaneous extraction (ETE) for pharmacokinetic studies of drugs

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The therapeutic activity and toxicity of drugs often depends on the accumulation of drugs in the peripheral anatomical compartment rather than the central compartment. In the routine practice of therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) and pharmacokinetic studies, drug concentration determined by intermittent blood sampling is used as a surrogate for calculating the drug concentration in the peripheral compartment tissues. Microdialysis, a relatively less invasive procedure, has been used for estimation of free drug levels in dermal, subcutaneous and muscle tissues. Transcutaneous extraction of drugs from the dermal tissue is a good noninvasive alternative to phlebotomy and microdialysis. This requires a technique, which can facilitate the extraction of significant and reproducible amounts of drugs from the dermal extracellular fluid (ECF) within a short sampling duration. In the present work, we assessed the feasibility of electroporation and transcutaneous extraction (ETE) method for determining the time course of drugs in dermal ECF, using salicylic acid (SA) as a test drug. Electroporation protocol was optimized based on the in vitro diffusion studies of salicylic acid across rat skin. The concentration-time profile of total SA was determined in rats after a single i.v. bolus administration. The in vivo permeability coefficient (Pin vivo) of rat skin was determined under steady state plasma concentration of drug created by i.v. bolus followed by constant rate infusion of SA. The pharmacokinetic parameters of the drug were determined using a two-compartment pharmacokinetic model. The theoretical predicted time course of free SA in the dermal ECF after a single i.v. bolus administration was calculated using standard formulae. The concentration of free SA determined by ETE is in good agreement with that calculated using two-compartment pharmacokinetic model. This study thus provides a credible evidence for the validity of ETE technique for determining the concentration of SA in the dermal ECF.

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