Article

Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp 1717-1721

First online:

Topical Drug Delivery in Humans with a Single Photomechanical Wave

  • Shun LeeAffiliated withDepartment of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital Email author 
  • , Nikiforos KolliasAffiliated withDepartment of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • , Daniel J. McAuliffeAffiliated withDepartment of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • , Thomas J. FlotteAffiliated withDepartment of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • , Apostolos G. DoukasAffiliated withDepartment of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital

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Abstract

Purpose. Assess the feasibility ofin vivo topical drug delivery in humans with a single photomechanical wave.

Methods. Photomechanical waves were generated with a 23 nsec Q-switched ruby laser. In vivo fluorescence spectroscopy was used as an elegant non-invasive assay of transport of 5-aminolevulinic acid into the skin following the application of a single photomechanical wave.

Results. The barrier function of the human stratum corneum in vivo may be modulated by a single (110 nsec) photomechanical compression wave without adversely affecting the viability and structure of the epidermis and dermis. Furthermore, the stratum corneum barrier always recovers within minutes following a photomechanical wave. The application of the photomechanical wave did not cause any pain. The dose delivered across the stratum corneum depends on the peak pressure and has a threshold at ∼350 bar. A 30% increase in peak pressure, produced a 680% increase in the amount delivered.

Conclusions. Photomechanical waves may have important implications for transcutaneous drug delivery.

5-aminolevulinic acid ruby laser photoacoustics shock waves stress waves transdermal drug delivery