Although transdermal drug delivery would be very useful for the treatment of many diseases, in practice it is difficult to accomplish for the obstruction of the stratum corneum. The application of cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) as a pretreatment to the skin surface helps to enhance the delivery of topically applied drugs into the skin and the systemic circulation. CAP can change the skin properties to improve drug penetration by various different effects based on its multiple components. This review first introduces the skin barrier properties and some traditional transdermal drug delivery strategies. Next what is known about the application of CAP in transdermal drug delivery has been summarized, including the mechanisms and possible side effects. We believe that CAP could be developed as a non-invasive and efficient pretreatment to improve the transdermal permeation of drugs in clinical practice, although more research needs to be done to overcome the challenges.
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MRH was supported by US NIH Grants R01AI050875 and R21AI121700.
Conflict of interest
MRH declares the following potential conflicts of interest. Scientific Advisory Boards: Transdermal Cap Inc., Cleveland, OH; BeWell Global Inc., Wan Chai, Hong Kong; Hologenix Inc. Santa Monica, CA; LumiThera Inc., Poulsbo, WA; Vielight, Toronto, Canada; Bright Photomedicine, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Quantum Dynamics LLC, Cambridge, MA; Global Photon Inc., Bee Cave, TX; Medical Coherence, Boston MA; NeuroThera, Newark DE; JOOVV Inc., Minneapolis-St. Paul MN; AIRx Medical, Pleasanton CA; FIR Industries, Inc. Ramsey, NJ; UVLRx Therapeutics, Oldsmar, FL; Ultralux UV Inc., Lansing MI; Illumiheal & Petthera, Shoreline, WA; MB Lasertherapy, Houston, TX; ARRC LED, San Clemente, CA; Varuna Biomedical Corp. Incline Village, NV; Niraxx Light Therapeutics, Inc., Boston, MA. Consulting; Lexington Int, Boca Raton, FL; USHIO Corp, Japan; Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany; Philips Electronics Nederland B.V. Eindhoven, Netherlands; Johnson & Johnson Inc., Philadelphia, PA; Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Stockholdings: Global Photon Inc., Bee Cave, TX; Mitonix, Newark, DE.
The other authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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Xiang Wen and Yue Xin are co-first authors
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Wen, X., Xin, Y., Hamblin, M.R. et al. Applications of cold atmospheric plasma for transdermal drug delivery: a review. Drug Deliv. and Transl. Res. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13346-020-00808-2
- Cold atmospheric plasma
- Dielectric barrier discharge
- Transdermal drug delivery
- Skin barrier
- Stratum corneum