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Microdermabrasion as a Novel Tool to Enhance Drug Delivery via the Skin: An Animal Study

LEE, WOAN-RUOH, MD, DSC*,†; TSAI, REN-YEU, MD; FANG, CHIA-LANG, MD, MS§; LIU, CHING-JU, MS; HU, CHUNG-HONG, MD‡,¶; FANG, JIA-YOU, PhD

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BACKGROUND Microdermabrasion is a widely performed skin rejuvenation procedure. It can partly ablate and homogenize the stratum corneum (SC) layers.

OBJECTIVE The effect of microdermabrasion treatment on the skin permeation of hydrophilic and lipophilic drugs was examined in this study.

METHODS 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) and clobetasol 17-propionate were used as the hydrophilic and lipophilic permeants, respectively. In vitro skin delivery using porcine skin and in vivo topical application employing nude mouse as the animal model were both used to examine the effect of microdermabrasion. The vacuum pressures used in this study (15–25 cmHg) were much lower than those used for therapeutic purposes.

RESULTS The 5-FU permeation across microdermabrasion-treated skin was 8- to 24-fold higher than that across intact skin and depended on differences in treatment pressure and duration. An intensity of 15 cmHg for 10 seconds showed the greatest enhancement of 5-FU delivery via the skin. In contrast to the results for 5-FU, microdermabrasion reduced the skin permeation and deposition of topically applied clobetasol. The partitioning effect of clobetasol from the vehicle to the SC may have predominated this result. Microdermabrasion also enhanced the skin delivery of the hydrophilic 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA). Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) of microdermabrasion-treated skin revealed intense red fluorescence of ALA-transformed protoporphyrin (PpIX) within the epidermis and upper dermis.

CONCLUSIONS Microdermabrasion can improve the skin permeation of hydrophilic molecules.

*Department of Dermatology, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan

Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan

Department of Dermatology, Taipei Municipal Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan

§Department of Pathology, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan

Pharmaceutics Laboratory, Graduate Institute of Natural Products, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan

Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Jia-You Fang, Pharmaceutics Laboratory, Graduate Institute of Natural Products, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Road, Kweishan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan, or e-mail: fajy@mail.cgu.edu.tw.

The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

© 2006 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc.
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