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Use of the skin sandwich technique to probe the role of the hair follicles in sonophoresis

Sarheed, O. and Frum, Y. (2012) Use of the skin sandwich technique to probe the role of the hair follicles in sonophoresis. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 423 (2). pp. 179-183. ISSN 0378-5173

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The human skin sandwich technique was used to explore the effect of brief ultrasound exposure on the transfollicular pathway of absorption. Hydrocortisone was used as a model drug. In order to calculate the permeability coefficient of hydrocortisone, its concentration at saturation in the PBS donor solution was determined. Skin samples were prepared by sandwich technique with total hydration of the epidermal and sandwich membranes. The skin was sonicated for 0 s (control), 30 s or 45 s using a pulsed mode (10% duty cycle) with the spatial and temporal average intensity (SATA) of 3.7 W/cm2. The transducer was then removed and permeation was allowed to proceed for 52 h. Then the percentage follicular contribution was determined. It was determined that without ultrasound, drug entry into follicles accounted for 46% of total penetration. As the duration of sonication increased, the follicular contribution fell to zero even though total transepidermal flux dramatically increased. This is explained by ultrasound exposure causing sloughing off of the uppermost stratum corneum. This permeabilises the continuous surface but at the same time the disturbed cornceocytes will plug hair follicle orifices