Microdermabrasion for transdermal drug delivery
Andrews, Samantha Nacole
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The skin serves as a semi-permeable barrier that protects the body from pathogens and water loss. The stratum corneum, the upper 10-15 µm layer of skin, is the primary barrier layer. Due to its structure, only drugs that are lipophilic and with a low molecular weight (<500 Da) can penetrate intact skin. This study examines the use of microdermabrasion as a method of removing the stratum corneum to increase the skin's permeability to hydrophilic molecules, proteins, and vaccines. Microdermabrasion is a FDA-approved cosmetic skin resurfacing procedure that removes the stratum by bombarding it with abrasive particles under vacuum. The aims of this thesis are focused on optimizing the microdermabrasion conditions that will selectively remove stratum corneum, evaluating the transport of different sized molecules through abraded skin in vitro, examining drug efficacy in vivo by delivering insulin to diabetic rats, and examining the rate of skin healing after treatment. Microdermabrasion can be used as a non-invasive transdermal drug technique to safely remove stratum corneum to make the skin more permeable to waters soluble drugs and proteins.