Enhancement of transdermal protein delivery by photothermal effect of gold nanorods coated on polysaccharide-based hydrogel

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Graphical abstractTransdermal protein delivery is a useful and attractive method for protein therapy and dermal vaccination. However, this delivery method is restricted by the low permeability of the stratum corneum. The purpose of this study was to develop a transdermal delivery system for enhancement of protein permeability into the skin. First, we prepared a transparent gel patch made of polysaccharides with gold nanorods on the gel surface and fluorescein isothiocyanate-modified ovalbumin (FITC-OVA) inside. Next, the gel patch was placed on mouse skin to allow contact with the coated gold nanorods, and irradiated by a continuous-wave laser. The laser irradiation heated the gold nanorods and the skin temperature increased to 43 °C, resulting in enhanced translocation of FITC-OVA into the skin. These results confirmed the capability of the transdermal protein delivery system to perforate the stratum corneum and thus facilitate the passage of proteins across the skin.

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