Transdermal delivery offers opportunities for inventive, challenging and valuable research with patient
benefits. However, the prominent challenge in designing transdermal drug delivery systems is to overcome the natural
transport barrier of the skin, the stratum corneum. Several physical and chemical enhancement techniques have been
investigated in the last decade to breach the skin barrier and assist the transport of macromolecules across skin. Recent
technological advances in this field include novel combination strategies of penetration enhancement techniques,
microneedle array designs, needle-free technologies, nanocarriers, metered dose and microstructured transdermal systems.
The present review reports on recent advances in physical approaches towards enhanced transdermal penetration.
Enhancement strategies comprehensively covered in this review emphasize the significant achievements gained through
successful transdermal delivery of hydrophilic macromolecules, vaccines, proteins, peptides, oligonucleotides, fluorescent
dyes and plasmid delivery. Some commercially available technologies for transdermal delivery have also been covered.
These novel technologies hold immense potential to advance further into clinical practice and enable better therapeutic
applications and prophylactic interventions for various diseases.
Keywords: Electroporation, iontophoresis, microneedle, needle free, physical approaches, skin, transdermal penetration
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