An update on the application of physical technologies to enhance intradermal and transdermal drug delivery

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A large number of biopharmaceuticals and other macromolecules are being developed for therapeutic applications. Conventional oral delivery is not always possible due to first-pass metabolism and degradation in the GI tract. Parenteral delivery is invasive and has poor patient compliance. Transdermal delivery provides one attractive route of administration. Transdermal administration can achieve the continuous and non-invasive delivery of drugs. However, passive transdermal delivery is restricted to small lipophilic molecules. Active physical-enhancement technologies are being investigated to increase the scope of transdermal delivery to hydrophilic molecules and macromolecules. Recent developments in transdermal technologies, such as microporation, iontophoresis and sonophoresis can enable therapeutic delivery of many drug molecules, biopharmaceuticals, cosmeceuticals and vaccines. This review provides an update of recent developments in transdermal delivery focusing on physical-enhancement technologies.

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