Transdermal permeation of Kaempferia parviflora methoxyflavones from isopropyl myristate-based vehicles

AAPS PharmSciTech. 2014 Aug;15(4):947-55. doi: 10.1208/s12249-014-0122-y. Epub 2014 May 3.


Kaempferia parviflora (K. parviflora) rhizomes have long been used in traditional folk medicines and as general health-promoting agents. Several biological activities of K. parviflora, especially its anti-inflammatory effect, are due to its major constituents, methoxyflavones. However, the oral bioavailability of these methoxyflavones has been shown to be low. The aim of this study was to investigate the permeation behaviors of K. parviflora methoxyflavones from isopropyl myristate (IPM)-based vehicles. We studied the effects of ethanol and propylene glycol (PG) as the hydrophilic, solvent-type vehicles as well as fatty acids as the permeation enhancers. A permeation experiment was performed in vitro, using side-by-side diffusion cells through the full thickness of pig ear skin. The solubility and permeation of methoxyflavones were able to be modified by choice and ratio of vehicles. The ethanol/IPM vehicle was shown to be more effective in enhancing the solubility and permeation of methoxyflavones when compared to the PG/IPM vehicle. Regarding an optimal balance between solubility or affinity to vehicle and skin to vehicle partition coefficient, the ethanol/IPM vehicle in the ratio of 1:9 maximized the flux. Among the investigated fatty acids, oleic acid showed the greatest enhancing effect on the permeation of methoxyflavones, indicating that saturated fatty acids are less effective than unsaturated fatty acids. Long chain fatty acids increased diffusion coefficient parameter and shortened the lag time. The number of carbon atoms and double bonds of fatty acids did not show direct relation to the profile of permeation of methoxyflavones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Animals
  • Ethanol / chemistry
  • Excipients / chemistry
  • Fatty Acids / chemistry
  • Flavones / administration & dosage*
  • Flavones / chemistry*
  • Myristates / administration & dosage
  • Myristates / chemistry*
  • Oleic Acid / chemistry
  • Permeability
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles / administration & dosage
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles / chemistry*
  • Propylene Glycol / chemistry
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Skin Absorption
  • Solubility
  • Solvents / chemistry
  • Swine
  • Zingiberaceae / chemistry*


  • Excipients
  • Fatty Acids
  • Flavones
  • Myristates
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Solvents
  • isopropyl myristate
  • Oleic Acid
  • Ethanol
  • Propylene Glycol