Transdermal iontophoresis of sodium nonivamide acetate: V. Combined effect of physical enhancement methods

Jia You Fang, Tsong Long Hwang, Yaw Bin Huang, Yi Hung Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

41 Scopus citations


The effect of iontophoresis combined with treatment of other physical enhancement methods such as electroporation, low frequency ultrasound, and erbium:YAG (yttrium-aluminum-garnet) laser on the transdermal delivery of sodium nonivamide acetate (SNA) was examined in this present study. Iontophoresis increased the transdermal flux of SNA in vitro as compared to the passive diffusion without any enhancement. Furthermore, iontophoresis was always the most potent enhancement method for SNA permeation among the physical enhancement methods tested. Pulsing of high voltages (electroporation) followed by iontophoresis did not result in increased transport over iontophoresis alone. However, electroporation shortened the onset of transdermal iontophoretic delivery of SNA. Pretreatment of low frequency ultrasound (sonophoresis) alone on skin did not increase the skin permeation of SNA. The combination of iontophoresis and sonophoresis increased transdermal SNA transport more than each method by itself. The enhancement of drug transport across shunt routes and reduction of the threshold voltage in the presence of an electric field may contribute to this synergistic effect. Use of an erbium:YAG laser was a good method for enhancing transdermal absorption of SNA because it allows precise control of stratum corneum (SC) removal, and this ablation of SC could be reversible to the original normal status. The combination of laser treatment and iontophoresis also synergized the skin permeation of SNA, possibly due to a gradual drop in the electric resistance of the skin. The results in this present study point out that the choice of certain conditions with suitable physical enhancement methods can induce a synergistic effect on transdermal delivery of SNA during iontophoresis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 20 03 2002


  • Electroporation
  • Erbium:YAG laser
  • Iontophoresis
  • Sodium nonivamide acetate
  • Sonophoresis
  • Transdermal absorption


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