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Keywords:

  • transdermal drug delivery;
  • mathematical model;
  • ADME (absorption;
  • distribution;
  • metabolism;
  • excretion);
  • in vitro–in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE);
  • physiological model;
  • physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models;
  • inter-individual variability;
  • Simcyp® simulator

Abstract

Estimation of systemic exposure after absorption of any xenobiotic from the skin is very important in development of dermal pharmaceutical products as well as assessing un-intended exposures due to cosmetic products or environmental and occupational compounds. Historically, animal models have been used to evaluate dermal drug absorption before conducting human trials. However, occasional disparity between the animal and human data plus rising public interest and regulatory requirements to reduce animal usage in research combined with high cost and time-consuming attributes of animal experiments have prompted many academic and industrial researchers to develop economically viable and scientifically robust in silico and in vitro methods to assess dermal drug absorption. There are a number of in silico models available in literature from quantitative structure–activity relationship to semi-mechanistic to physiologically based mechanistic models. Nonetheless, to the best of our knowledge, so far, there has been no attempt to combine mechanistic skin absorption model with database of physiological variability to simulate the inter- and intra-individual variability observed in human trials. Thus, we report here mechanistic dermal absorption model with formulation, stratum corneum, viable epidermis–dermis and blood compartments along with datab”ase of human dermal physiological variability including gender, ethnic and site of application variations. The developed model is incorporated into the Simcyp simulator which is a ‘bottom-up’ platform and database for mechanistic modelling and simulation of the drug disposition process using full body physiologically based pharmacokinetics model. The built model is validated using the clinical pharmacokinetic data from five different topical formulations of diclofenac. The effect of penetration enhancers, site of application, gender and ethnic variations were incorporated to simulate the clinical trials. The applied mechanistic dermal absorption model when combined with skin physiological database was able to recover well the observed clinical pharmacokinetics and population variability in all the five validation studies. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association J Pharm Sci 101:2584–2595, 2012