Enhanced skin permeation of naltrexone by pulsed electromagnetic fields in human skin in vitro



The aim of the present study was to evaluate the skin permeation of naltrexone (NTX) under the influence of a pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF). The permeation of NTX across human epidermis and a silicone membrane in vitro was monitored during and after application of the PEMF and compared to passive application. Enhancement ratios of NTX human epidermis permeation by PEMF over passive diffusion, calculated based on the AUC of cumulative NTX permeation to the receptor compartment verses time for 0–4 h, 4–8 h, and over the entire experiment (0–8 h) were 6.52, 5.25, and 5.66, respectively. Observation of the curve indicated an initial enhancement of NTX permeation compared to passive delivery whilst the PEMF was active (0–4 h). This was followed by a secondary phase after termination of PEMF energy (4–8 h) in which there was a steady increase in NTX permeation. No significant enhancement of NTX penetration across silicone membrane occurred with PEMF application in comparison to passively applied NTX. In a preliminary experiment PEMF enhanced the penetration of 10 nm gold nanoparticles through the stratum corneum as visualized by multiphoton microscopy. This suggests that the channels through which the nanoparticles move must be larger than the 10 nm diameter of these rigid particles. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association J Pharm Sci 99: 2724–2731, 2010