Topical and transdermal delivery has been studied over last decades and
it presents advantages for the treatment of several disorders, macromolecules delivery
and vaccination. The greatest challenge is to overcome the stratum corneum
(SC) barrier. Compared to traditional topical formulation strategies, nano
/microsystems offer advantages such as increased stability, increased loading dose,
coverage of undesired colors, reduced toxicity and prolonged release of active
agents. However, there are no conclusive studies demonstrating the ability of such
systems to penetrate the skin in relevant therapeutic amounts. The use of physical
methods holds great promise for enhancing skin permeation through the SC and
for targeting hair follicles. This review discusses the characteristics and feasibility
of using a dual approach employing the application of physical methods of permeation enhancement
to enable the topical or transdermal delivery of drug-loaded nano/microsystems.
Keywords: Dendrimers, iontophoresis, liposomes, microneedles, nanoparticles, permeation, skin, sonophoresis.
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