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    In order to devise more effective penetration enhancers, 4-O-acylterpineol derivatives which were expected to be hydrolyzed into nontoxic metabolites by esterase in the living epidermis, were synthesized from 4-terpineol (4-TER) enantiomers and straight chain fatty acids. Their promoting activities on the SR-flurbiprofen and its enantiomers were tested across full-thickness rabbit skin, as well as to correlate under in vitro and in vivo conditions. The permeation studies indicated that both d-4-O-acylterpineol and l-4-O-acylterpineol had significant enhancing effects, interestingly, d-4-O-aclyterpineol had higher enhancing effects than l-4-O-aclyterpineol with the exception of d-4-methyl-1-(1-methylethyl)-3-cyclohexen-1-yl octadec-9-enoate (d-4-T-dC18). The mechanism of 4-O-acylterpineol facilitating the drug penetration across the skin was confirmed by Attenuated total reflection-Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and molecular simulation. The mechanism of penetration enhancers promoting drug release was explored by the in vitro release experiment. Finally, a relative safety skin irritation of enhancers was also investigated by in vivo histological evaluation. The present research suggested that d-4-O-aclyterpineol and l-4-O-aclyterpineol could significantly promote the penetration of SR-flurbiprofen and its enantiomers both in vitro and in vivo, with the superiorities of high flux and low dermal toxicity.


    Tianzhe Chu, Chunyan Wang, Jing Wang, Heping Wang, Dandan Geng, Chensi Wu, Linlin Zhao, Ligang Zhao. Chiral 4-O-acylterpineol as transdermal permeation enhancers: insights of the enhancement mechanisms of a transdermal enantioselective delivery system for flurbiprofen. Drug delivery. 2020 Dec;27(1):723-735

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    PMID: 32397753

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