Transdermal drug delivery: overcoming the skin's barrier function

Pharm Sci Technol Today. 2000 Sep 1;3(9):318-326. doi: 10.1016/s1461-5347(00)00295-9.


The skin represents an extraordinary evolutionary feat. Not only does it physically encapsulate the organism and provide a multifunctional interface between us and our surroundings, but it is perpetually engaged in the assembly of a highly efficient homeostatic barrier to the outward loss of water(1). In so doing, it furnishes a membrane that is equally adept at limiting molecular transport both from and into the body. Overcoming this barrier function then, for the purpose of transdermal drug delivery, has been a necessarily challenging task for the pharmaceutical scientist, and one that boasts significant progress.