In vivo methods for the assessment of topical drug bioavailability

Pharm Res. 2008 Jan;25(1):87-103. doi: 10.1007/s11095-007-9429-7. Epub 2007 Nov 6.


This paper reviews some current methods for the in vivo assessment of local cutaneous bioavailability in humans after topical drug application. After an introduction discussing the importance of local drug bioavailability assessment and the limitations of model-based predictions, the focus turns to the relevance of experimental studies. The available techniques are then reviewed in detail, with particular emphasis on the tape stripping and microdialysis methodologies. Other less developed techniques, including the skin biopsy, suction blister, follicle removal and confocal Raman spectroscopy techniques are also described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical*
  • Algorithms
  • Biological Availability*
  • Humans
  • Microdialysis
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / analysis
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin Absorption


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations