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Integral BioSystems
Transdermal Drug Delivery

Picture courtesy: Nature.com

The skin is an important barrier to the ingress of undesirable compounds and a potential drug delivery route for therapeutically useful compounds. In contrast to the traditional oral route, first pass metabolism is minimized, which can often limit the tolerability and efficacy of many orally and parenterally delivered drugs. However, as with other routes, the skin is considered a significant cellular barrier and not all drugs are good candidates for administration via this route. Physiochemical characteristics of the drug such as the molecular size, solubility characteristics and its octanol-water coefficient all affect the absorption and clearance of the drug from the body. Depending upon whether the drug is intended for systemic delivery or localized delivery, the delivery system can be designed accordingly. For diseases of the skin, such as acne, candidate drug molecules are delivered to the hair follicle. The delivery of an immunotherapeutic to the skin for the purpose of targeting cells related to the immune system is another area of interest, particularly in the delivery of vaccines to the skin, needle-free.

Scientists at Integral BioSystems are experts at designing drug delivery systems for administration to the skin, be it to deliver a vaccine to elicit the appropriate immune response or to deliver a therapeutic such as a protein, or a small molecule in a sustained manner for maximal effect.

Once the prototypes are designed and prepared, we test the delivery systems for compatibility with the drug and the tissues to which the therapeutic will be administered. Furthermore, Franz cell-type in-vitro experiments are used to determine the diffusion coefficient of the drug through sections of skin, in order to estimate its transport characteristics as a function of the formulation. We use techniques like iontophoresis to drive drugs into various layers of the skin. Our prototypes are scaleable and transferable to clinical dosage formats.
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