Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 24, Issue 7, pp 1389–1395

Transdermal Delivery of Interferon Alpha-2B using Microporation and Iontophoresis in Hairless Rats


  • Advait V. Badkar
    • Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesMercer University
    • Pharmaceutical R&D, Global BiologicsPfizer Inc.
  • Alan M. Smith
    • Altea Therapeutics
  • Jonathan A. Eppstein
    • Altea Therapeutics
    • Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesMercer University
Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11095-007-9308-2

Cite this article as:
Badkar, A.V., Smith, A.M., Eppstein, J.A. et al. Pharm Res (2007) 24: 1389. doi:10.1007/s11095-007-9308-2



To demonstrate transdermal delivery of interferon alpha-2b (IFNα2b) in hairless rats through aqueous microchannels (micropores) created in the skin and enhanced by iontophoresis.

Materials and Methods

The Altea Therapeutics PassPort™ System was configured to form an array of micropores (2.0 cm2; 72 micropores/cm2) on the rat abdomen. The transdermal patch (Iomed TransQ1-GS-hydrogel) was saturated with an IFNα2b solution (600 μg/ml) and applied for 4 h. Delivery was evaluated with and without cathodic iontophoresis (0.1 mA/cm2). Intravenous delivery (0.4 μg/100 g body weight) was performed to support pharmacokinetic calculations.


IFNα2b was not delivered through intact skin by itself (passive delivery) or during iontophoresis. However, passive delivery through micropores was achieved in vivo in rats. A dose of 397 ± 67 ng was delivered over 6 h, with steady state serum concentrations reaching a plateau at 1 h post-patch application. These levels dropped rapidly after patch removal, and returned to baseline within 2 h of patch removal. Iontophoresis-enhanced delivery through micropores resulted in a two-fold increase in the dose delivered (722 ± 169 ng) in the hairless rat.


In vivo delivery of IFNα2b was demonstrated through micropores created in the outer layer of the skin. Iontophoresis enhanced delivery through microporated skin in hairless rats.

Key words

interferon alphaiontophoresismicroporationprotein deliverytransdermal delivery

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007