Laser Treatment Enhances Transdermal Drug Delivery

Allows better absorption of hydrophilic drugs like 5-Fu

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Laser treatment of the skin using wavelengths in the visible light range can be used to ablate the outermost barrier of the skin, the stratum corneum, allowing improved transdermal delivery of the anticancer drug 5- Fluorouracil (5-Fu), without causing skin lesions, according to research published Jan. 25 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

Clara Gomez, Ph.D., of the Instituto de Quimica Fisica "Rocasolano" in Madrid, Spain, and colleagues compared the effect of Nd:YAG laser treatment on transdermal delivery of 5-Fu across the rabbit skin using wavelengths in the infrared (λ=1064 nm), visible (λ=532 nm) and ultraviolet (λ= 355 nm) light ranges.

The three wavelengths studied all increased skin permeation of 5-Fu, and ultraviolet radiation was most effective in enhancing drug permeation. Visible radiation showed a wide range of fluences that enhanced skin delivery of 5-Fu without leading to skin lesions. Irradiation at higher fluences, particularly with wavelengths in the ultraviolet range, led to injury to the basement membrane, suggesting a risk of skin ulceration.

"The results of this study indicate that Nd:YAG laser radiation and its harmonics, can modulate skin histology and transdermal drug delivery, although the particular characteristics of the interaction laser radiation-tissue depend on the wavelength of the laser radiation," the authors conclude.

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