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Special Issue "Permeation Enhancers and Other Strategies to Overcome Skin and Mucosal Barriers"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pharmacology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2024 | Viewed by 1225

Special Issue Editor

Department of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Technology and Physical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: nanocarriers; topical drug delivery systems; dermal absorption; skin models; in vitro studies; nanomedicine; transdermal delivery; transmucosal delivery; cronocosmetic; skin biodistribution
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The skin and mucosa are suitable targets for drug delivery, but these routes are challenging because they constitute excellent protective barriers, and drugs are required to reach the mucosa or different skin layers to efficiently manage skin and mucosal diseases. Many approaches have been used to enhance the penetration of drugs through these tissues: chemical permeation enhancers, physical permeation enhancer methods (ultrasound, iontophoresis, electroporation, microneedles), and other strategies, such as nanocarriers including liposomes, polymeric nanoparticles, or lipid-based nanostructured systems. These strategies or their combination provide alternatives to existing products and open up the opportunity to fulfil unmet medical needs.

This Special Issue focuses on recent studies that aim to overcome skin or mucosal barriers. Both research and review articles are welcome.  

Dr. Mireia Mallandrich Miret
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • permeation enhancer
  • physical permeation enhancers
  • ultrasounds
  • iontophoresis
  • electroporation
  • microneedles
  • nanoparticles
  • nanocarriers
  • liposomes
  • lipid-based nanostructured systems

Published Papers (1 paper)

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20 pages, 5420 KiB  
A Comparative Evaluation of Desoximetasone Cream and Ointment Formulations Using Experiments and In Silico Modeling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(20), 15118; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242015118 - 12 Oct 2023
Viewed by 982
The administration of therapeutic drugs through dermal routes, such as creams and ointments, has emerged as an increasingly popular alternative to traditional delivery methods, such as tablets and injections. In the context of drug development, it is crucial to identify the optimal doses [...] Read more.
The administration of therapeutic drugs through dermal routes, such as creams and ointments, has emerged as an increasingly popular alternative to traditional delivery methods, such as tablets and injections. In the context of drug development, it is crucial to identify the optimal doses and delivery routes that ensure successful outcomes. Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models have been proposed to simulate drug delivery and optimize drug formulations, but the calibration of these models is challenging due to the multitude of variables involved and limited experimental data. One significant research gap that this article addresses is the need for more efficient and accurate methods for calibrating PBPK models for dermal drug delivery. This manuscript presents a novel approach and an integrated dermal drug delivery model to address this gap that leverages virtual in vitro release (IVRT) and permeation (IVPT) testing data to optimize mechanistic models. The proposed approach was demonstrated through a study involving Desoximetasone cream and ointment formulations, where the release kinetics and permeation profiles of Desoximetasone were determined experimentally, and a computational model was created to simulate the results. The experimental studies showed that, even though the cumulative permeation of Desoximetasone at the end of the permeation study was comparable, there was a significant difference seen in the lag time in the permeation of Desoximetasone between the cream and ointment. Additionally, there was a significant difference seen in the amount of Desoximetasone permeated through human cadaver skin at early time points when the cream and ointment were compared. The computational model was optimized and validated, suggesting that this approach has the potential to bridge the existing research gap by improving the accuracy and efficiency of drug development processes. The model results show a good fit between the experimental data and model predictions. During the model optimization process, it became evident that there was variability in both the permeability and the partition coefficient within the stratum corneum. This variability had a significant and noteworthy influence on the overall performance of the model, especially when it came to its capacity to differentiate between cream and ointment formulations. Leveraging virtual models significantly aids the comprehension of drug release and permeation, mitigating the demanding data requirements. The use of virtual IVRT and IVPT data can accelerate the calibration of PBPK models, streamline the selection of the appropriate doses, and optimize drug delivery. Moreover, this novel approach could potentially reduce the time and resources involved in drug development, thus making it more cost-effective and efficient. Full article
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