Gold nanoparticles for skin drug delivery

Int J Pharm. 2022 Sep 25:625:122122. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2022.122122. Epub 2022 Aug 18.


Nanoparticle-based drug carriers are being pursued intensely to overcome the skin barrier and improve even hydrophilic or macromolecular drug delivery into or across the skin efficiently. Over the past few years, the application of gold nanoparticles as a novel kind of drug carrier for skin drug delivery has attracted increasing attention because of their unique properties and versatility. In this review, we summarized the possible factors contributing to the penetration behaviors of gold nanoparticles, including size, surface chemistry, and shape. Drug loading, release, and penetration patterns were captured towards implicating the design of gold nanoparticles for dermal or transdermal drug delivery. Physical methods applicable for future enhancing the delivery efficacy of GNPs were also presented, which mainly included microneedles and iontophoresis. As a promising "drug", the inherent activities of GNPs were finally discussed, especially regarding their application in the treatment of skin disease. Thus, this paper provided a comprehensive review of the use of gold nanoparticles for skin drug delivery, which would help the design of multifunctional systems for skin drug delivery based on gold nanoparticles.

Keywords: Drug delivery; Gold nanoparticle; Photothermal; Skin penetration.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Gold / chemistry
  • Metal Nanoparticles*
  • Nanoparticles* / chemistry
  • Skin


  • Drug Carriers
  • Gold