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This study experimentally demonstrates how application of an external physical stress onto the skin membrane affects the permeation of penetrating molecules. As a proxy of active compounds, in this study, a series of fluorescence probe molecules were utilized. We observed that skin permeation could be enhanced by imparting vertical strokes from a tapping head consisting of projections onto the skin. This was confirmed with consistency from in vitro and in vivo transdermal permeation studies. After an effective physical stress was applied to the skin, the permeation depth of probe molecules remarkably increased, which was comparable to the case of topical treatment. This seems to arise from temporal disordering of the stratum corneum layer in response to the applied physical stress.


Ho Lee, Jin Woong Kim. Diffusion behaviors of fluorescence probe molecules through the stratum corneum layer under physical stress. The Journal of membrane biology. 2013 Apr;246(4):263-9

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PMID: 23370502

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