Background: To develop electro-sensitive transdermal drug delivery systems (ETDDS) using
polyacrylamide-grafted-pectin (PAAm-g-PCT) copolymer hydrogel for rivastigmine delivery.
Methods: Free radical polymerization and alkaline hydrolysis technique was employed to synthesize
PAAm-g-PCT copolymer hydrogel. The PAAm-g-PCT copolymeric hydrogel was used as a reservoir
and cross-linked blend films of PCT and poly(vinyl alcohol) as rate-controlling membranes (RCMs) to
Results: The pH of the hydrogel reservoir was found to be in the range of 6.81 to 6.93 and drug content
was 89.05 to 96.29%. The thickness of RCMs was in the range of 51 to 99 μ and RCMs showed permeability
behavior against water vapors. There was a reduction in the water vapor transmission rate as
the glutaraldehyde (GA) concentration was increased. The drug permeation rate from the ETDDS was
enhanced under the influence of electric stimulus against the absence of an electric stimulus. The increase
in flux by 1.5 fold was recorded with applied electric stimulus. The reduction in drug permeability
observed when the concentration of GA was increased. Whereas, the permeability of the drug was
augmented as an electric current was changed from 2 to 8 mA. The pulsatile drug release under “on–
off” cycle of electric stimulus witnessed a faster drug release under ‘on’ condition and it was slow under
‘off’ condition. The alteration in skin composition after electrical stimulation was confirmed
through histopathology studies.
Conclusion: The PAAm-g-PCT copolymer hydrogel is a useful carrier for transdermal drug delivery
activated by an electric signal to provide on-demand release of rivastigmine.