Percutaneous penetration modifiers and formulation effects: Thermal and spectral analyses

Diksha Kaushik, Bozena Michniak-Kohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The study investigated the formulation effects of laurocapram and iminosulfurane derived penetration modifiers on human stratum corneum using thermal and spectral analyses. Firstly, formulations of penetration modifiers were assessed as enhancers/retardants using the model permeant, diethyl-m-toluamide followed by investigation of their mechanisms of action using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform infra-red spectroscopy. The penetration modifiers investigated were laurocapram, 3-dodecanoyloxazolidin-2-one (N-0915), S,S-dimethyl-N-(4- bromobenzoyl) iminosulfurane (DMBIS), S,S-dimethyl-N-(2- methoxycarbonylbenzenesulfonyl) iminosulfurane (DMMCBI) and tert-butyl 1-dodecyl-2-oxoazepan-3-yl-carbamate (TBDOC) that were formulated in either water, propylene glycol (PG), ethanol or polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG 400). The results explain the mechanism for the first time why an enhancer can become a retardant or vice versa depending upon the vehicle in which it is applied to the skin. DSC indicated that penetration modifier formulations enhanced permeation of active mainly by disruption and fluidization of the stratum corneum lipid bilayers while IR data indicated characteristic blue shifts with decreases in peak intensity. On the other hand, DSC of penetration modifier formulations showing retardation depicted elevated T m2 with a strengthening of lipid-protein complex while IR results indicated formation of multiple peaks around 1,738 cm-1 transition in stratum corneum spectra suggesting retardation may be caused by organization of SC lipids by increased H-bonding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1068-1083
Number of pages16
JournalAAPS PharmSciTech
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science


  • differential scanning calorimetry
  • enhancers
  • infra-red spectroscopy
  • penetration modifiers
  • retardants
  • stratum corneum

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