Drug Diffusion Transport Through Human Skin
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University of Zielona Góra, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, ul. Szafrana 4, 65-516, Zielona Góra, Poland
University Hospital of Zielona Góra, Oncology Department ul. Zyty 26, 65-046 , Zielona Góra, Poland
Online publication date: 2018-11-21
Publication date: 2018-11-01
International Journal of Applied Mechanics and Engineering 2018;23(4):977-988
The stratum corneum (SC) forms the outermost layer of the human skin and is essentially a multilamellar lipid milieu punctuated by protein-filled corneocytes that augment membrane integrity and significantly increase membrane tortuosity. The lipophilic character of the SC, coupled with its intrinsic tortuosity, ensure that it almost always provides the principal barrier to the entry of drug molecules into the organism. Drugs can be administered either as suspensions or as solutions and the formulation can range in complexity from a gel or and ointment to a multilayer transdermal path. In this paper, we discuss theoretical principles used to describe transdermal release and we show that relatively simple membrane transport models based on the appropriate solution to the Fick’s second law of diffusion can be used to explain drug release kinetics into such a complex biological membrane as the human skin. To apply the Fick’s law we introduced into our considerations a brick-and-mortar model with two factors of tortuosity. Assuming that the mortar thickness is variable we also introduced the hindrance factor allowing us to model this variability. Having the modified Fick’s equation we presented its general solution and two special cases of this solution frequently applicable in permeation experiments. It seems that the solutions presented herein better approximate the real conditions of drug delivery then these well known.
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