In vivo methods for the analysis of the penetration of topically applied substances in and through the skin barrier
The efficacy of a drug is characterized by its action mechanism and its ability to pass the skin barrier. In this article, different methods are discussed, which permit this penetration process to be analysed non‐invasively. Providing qualitative and quantitative information, tape stripping is one of the oldest procedures for penetration studies. Although single cell layers of corneocytes are removed from the skin surface, this procedure is considered as non‐invasive and is applicable exclusively to the stratum corneum. Recently, optical and spectroscopic methods have been used to investigate the penetration process. Fluorescence‐labelled drugs can be easily detected in the skin by laser scanning microscopy. This method has the disadvantage that the dye labelling changes the molecular structures of the drug and consequently might influence the penetration properties. The penetration process of non‐fluorescent substances can be analysed by Raman spectroscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance, CARS and multiphoton microscopic measurements. Using these methods, the concentration of the topically applied formulations in different depths of the stratum corneum can be detected by moving the laser focus from the skin surface deeper into the stratum corneum. The advantages and disadvantages of these methods will be discussed in this article.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2012