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Sci. Pharm. 2012; 80: 1–28

Iontophoresis: A Potential Emergence of a Transdermal Drug Delivery System

Vinod DHOTE 1, Punit BHATNAGAR 1, Pradyumna K. MISHRA 2, Suresh C. MAHAJAN 1, Dinesh K. MISHRA * 1

1 Mahakal Institute of Pharmaceutical Studies, Ujjain, M. P., India.
2 Division of Translational Research, ACTREC, Tata Memorial Centre, Navi Mumbai, India.

* Corresponding author. E-mail: dineshdops@yahoo.com (D. K. Mishra)

Abstract

The delivery of drugs into systemic circulation via skin has generated much attention during the last decade. Transdermal therapeutic systems propound controlled release of active ingredients through the skin and into the systemic circulation in a predictive manner. Drugs administered through these systems escape first-pass metabolism and maintain a steady state scenario similar to a continuous intravenous infusion for up to several days. However, the excellent impervious nature of the skin offers the greatest challenge for successful delivery of drug molecules by utilizing the concepts of iontophoresis. The present review deals with the principles and the recent innovations in the field of iontophoretic drug delivery system together with factors affecting the system. This delivery system utilizes electric current as a driving force for permeation of ionic and non-ionic medications. The rationale behind using this technique is to reversibly alter the barrier properties of skin, which could possibly improve the penetration of drugs such as proteins, peptides and other macromolecules to increase the systemic delivery of high molecular weight compounds with controlled input kinetics and minimum inter-subject variability. Although iontophoresis seems to be an ideal candidate to overcome the limitations associated with the delivery of ionic drugs, further extrapolation of this technique is imperative for translational utility and mass human application.

Keywords

Drug delivery Translational research Transdermal therapeutic system Iontophoresis

Received August 25th, 2011 | Accepted December 13th, 2011 | Published Online Decmber 13th, 2011

http://dx.doi.org/10.3797/scipharm.1108-20