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Monitoring Drug Crystallization in Percutaneous Penetration Using Localized Nanothermal Analysis and Photothermal Microspectroscopy

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journal contribution
posted on 10.12.2018, 00:00 authored by Choon Fu Goh, Jonathan G. Moffat, Duncan Q. M. Craig, Jonathan Hadgraft, Majella E. Lane
Drug crystallization on and in the skin has been reported following application of topical or transdermal formulations. This study explored novel probe-based approaches including localized nanothermal analysis (nano-TA) and photothermal microspectroscopy (PTMS) to investigate and locate drug crystals in the stratum corneum (SC) of porcine skin following application of simple ibuprofen (IBU) formulations. We also conducted in vitro skin permeation studies and tape stripping. The detection of drug crystals in the SC on tape strips was confirmed using localized nano-TA, based on the melting temperature of IBU. The melting of IBU was also evident as indicated by a double transition and confirmed the presence of drug crystals in the SC. The single point scans of PTMS on the tape strips allowed collection of the photothermal FTIR spectra of IBU, confirming the existence of drug crystals in the skin. The combined methods also indicated that drug crystallized in the SC at a depth of ∼4–7 μm. Future studies will examine the potential of these techniques to probe crystallization of other commonly used actives in topical and transdermal formulations.