Delivery of biologically active compounds through the skin

August 5, 2011

Scientists at the University of Geneva and University of Lausanne have demonstrated the feasibility of using transdermal delivery of compounds via the application of a small electric current (iontophoresis) to deliver biologically active human basic fibroblast growth factor (hbFGF) noninvasively into and across the skin.

hbFGFs are proteins that have shown promise for treating skin conditions — as well as peripheral artery disease (PAD). The researchers selected iontophoresis as a drug delivery mechanism for hbFGFs because the hbFGFs become inactive if given by mouth, and injecting them can result in kidney and eye damage.

The researchers found that the protein was evenly distributed throughout the epidermis and dermis, confirming that transdermal iontophoresis was indeed able to deliver structurally intact, functional hbFGF noninvasively into and across the skin.

Ref.: S. Dubey, et al., Noninvasive Transdermal Iontophoretic Delivery of Biologically Active Human Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor, Molecular Pharmaceutics, 2011; [link]