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Transdermal Drug Delivery: Opportunities and Challenges for Controlled Delivery of Therapeutic Agents Using Nanocarriers

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Background: Transdermal drug delivery represents an extremely attractive and innovative route across the skin owing to the possibility for achieving systemic effect of drugs. The present scenario demands a special focus on developing safe medicine with minimized toxic adverse effects related to most of the pharmacologically active agents. Transdermal drug delivery would be a focal paradigm which provides patient convenience, first-pass hepatic metabolism avoidance, local targeting and reduction in toxic effect related to various categories of drugs like, analgesics, antiinflammatory, antibiotics, antiviral, anaesthetic, anticancer etc. Even this route has challenges due to highly organized structure of skin which acts as a main barrier to penetration of drug via the skin.

Method: Several alternative possible strategies are available which overcome these barriers, including use of penetration enhancer, eletroporation, iontophoresis and various nanotechnologically developed nanocarrier systems. The latest one includes employing liposome, dendrimers, nanoparticles, ethosome, carbon nanotube and many more to avoid associated limitations of conventional formulations. Numerous transdermal products such as Estrasorb, Diractin, VivaGel®, Daytrana®, Aczone, Sileryst® are available in the market having a novel strategy to achieve higher penetration of drugs. This encourages formulation fraternity to develop structurally deformable and stable nanocarriers as an alternative approach for controlled and reliable drug delivery across the skin barrier.

Discussion: In this review, we will discuss nanocarriers mediated approaches that come-up with the solutions to the different challenges towards transdermal drug delivery, its clinical importance and latest insight to research in it.

Conclusion: The reports presented in this review confirm the wide application of nanocarriers for transdermal delivery of drug/gene.
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Keywords: Transdermal; drug delivery; gene delivery; nanocarriers; penetration enhancers; targeting; vaccines

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • Current Drug Metabolism aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in drug metabolism and disposition. The journal serves as an international forum for the publication of timely reviews in drug metabolism. Current Drug Metabolism is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments. The journal covers the following areas:

    In vitro systems including CYP-450; enzyme induction and inhibition; drug-drug interactions and enzyme kinetics; pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, species scaling and extrapolations; P-glycoprotein and transport carriers; target organ toxicity and interindividual variability; drug metabolism and disposition studies; extrahepatic metabolism; phase I and phase II metabolism; recent developments for the identification of drug metabolites and adducts.
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