• iontophoresis;
  • lactate;
  • reverse iontophoresis;
  • transdermal;
  • skin;
  • therapeutic drug monitoring;
  • pharmacokinetics


This work investigates the reverse iontophoretic extraction of lactate, a widely used marker of tissue distress in critically ill patients and of sports performance. In vitro experiments were performed to establish the relationship between subdermal lactate levels and lactate iontophoretic extraction fluxes. Subsequently, the iontophoretic extraction of lactate was performed in vivo in healthy volunteers. Lactate was quickly and easily extracted by iontophoresis both in vitro and in vivo. During a short initial phase, iontophoresis extracts the lactate present in the skin reservoir, providing information of relevance, perhaps, for dermatological and cosmetic applications. In a second step, lactate is extracted from the interstitial subdermal fluid allowing local lactate kinetics to be followed in a completely non-invasive way. The simultaneous in vivo extraction of chloride, and its possible role as an internal standard to calibrate lactate reverse iontophoretic fluxes, was also demonstrated. Despite these positive findings, however, considerably more research is necessary to eliminate potential artefacts and to facilitate interpretation of the data. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association J Pharm Sci 96: 3457–3465, 2007