Trans-dermal Drug Delivery using Elongated Microparticles

Study conducted by Dr Tarl Prow (UQ DRC) and Dr Anthony Raphael (UQ DRC) in collaboration with Professor H. Peter Soyer (UQ DRC). 

Delivery of therapeutic and cosmetic agents into skin is hindered by the epidermal barriers.  Our research group has developed a method of improving the delivery of topical treatments by combining them with our elongated microparticles (EMPs).  Our EMPs are free particles that can be massaged into the skin and work by piercing through the tough outer skin layer, allowing topical treatment passage to the deeper layers.  Clinical studies in the volar forearm of healthy volunteers so far have shown that EMPs formulated with the fluorescent dye, fluorescein, can increase dermal drug delivery by more than three times and cause no adverse reactions.

In 2014 we will commence a clinical trial to evaluate the effect epidermal thickness and skin disease has on microparticle enhanced delivery. Our future goal is to investigate the topical delivery of drugs for the therapeutic treatment of specific skin diseases once our initial aims are met.

This work is funded by an NHMRC project grant and Post-Doctoral Fellowship for 2014 to Dec 2016.

Raphael AP, Primiero CA, Lin L, Flewell Smith R, Dyer P, Soyer HP, Prow TW. High aspect ratio elongated microparticles for enhanced topical drug delivery in human volunteers. Adv. Healthcare Mater. Accepted 12/11/2013.

Raphael AP, Primiero CA, Ansaldo AB, Keates HL, Soyer HP, Prow TW. Elongate microparticles for enhanced drug delivery to ex vivo and in vivo pig skin. J Control. Release. 2013;172(1):96-104.