Enhancement of transdermal drug delivery: Chemical and physical approaches

Charles S. Asbill, Ayman F. El-Kattan, Bozena Michniak-Kohn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

75 Scopus citations


Transdermal drug delivery has been intensively studied over the last two decades because of the many advantages offered by this route of administration. However, the number of drugs used in transdermal drug delivery systems has been somewhat limited, in part resulting from the formidable barrier to drug permeation presented by the upper layer of the skin, the stratum corneum. In order to overcome this, different strategies have been implemented to render the skin more permeable to drugs. These strategies include both chemical and physical approaches. In this review, we outline the enhancing activities and mechanisms of action of some of the more extensively studied chemical penetration enhancers (oxazolidinones, propylene glycol, and epidermal enzymes). In addition, we discuss novel physical strategies, such as the use of microneedles or electroporation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-658
Number of pages38
JournalCritical Reviews in Therapeutic Drug Carrier Systems
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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