A water gradient can be used to regulate drug transport across skin

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


At normal conditions there is a substantial water gradient over the skin as it separates the water-rich inside of the body from the dry outside. This leads to a variation in the degree of hydration from the inside to the outside of skin and changes in this gradient may affect the structure and function of skin. In this study we raise the question: How do changes in the water gradient across skin affect its permeability? We approach this problem in novel diffusion experiments that permit strict control of the gradient in the chemical potential of water and hence well-defined boundary conditions. The results demonstrate that a water gradient can be used to regulate transport of drugs with different lipophilic characteristics across the skin barrier. It is shown that the transport of metronidazole (log P(o/w)=0.0) and methyl salicylate (log P(o/w)=2.5) across skin increases abruptly at low water gradients, corresponding to high degrees of skin hydration, and that this effect is reversible. This phenomenon is highly relevant to drug delivery applications due to its potential of temporarily open the skin barrier for transdermal drug delivery and subsequently close the barrier after treatment. Further, the results contribute to the understanding of the occlusion effect and indicate the boundary conditions of the water gradient needed to make use of this effect.


  • Sebastian Björklund
  • Johan Engblom
  • Krister Thuresson
  • Emma Sparr
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Fysikalisk kemi
Sidor (från-till)191-200
TidskriftJournal of Controlled Release
Utgåva nummer2
StatusPublished - 2010
Peer review utfördJa

Relaterad forskningsoutput

Björklund, S., 2013, Department of Chemistry, Lund University. 188 s.

Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingDoktorsavhandling (sammanläggning)

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