The transdermal delivery of hydrophilic drugs remains challenging owing to their poor ability to permeate the skin; formulation with oil media is difficult without adding chemical permeation enhancers or co-solvents. Herein, we synthesized 12 oil-miscible ionic liquid (IL) drugs comprising lidocaine-, imipramine-, and levamisole (Lev)-hydrochloride with fatty acid permeation enhancers, i.e., laurate, oleate, linoleate, and stearate as counterions. A set of in vitro and in vivo studies was performed to investigate the potency and deliverability of the transdermal drug formulations. All of the synthesized compounds were freely miscible with pharmaceutically acceptable solvents/agents (i.e., ethanol, N-methyl pyrrolidone, Tween 20, and isopropyl myristate (IPM)). In vitro permeation studies revealed that the oleate-based Lev formulation had 2.6-fold higher skin permeation capability than the Lev salts and also superior ability compared with the laurate-, linoleate-, and stearate-containing samples. Upon in vivo transdermal administration to mice, the peak plasma concentration, elimination half-life, and area under the plasma concentration curve values of Lev-IL were 4.6-, 2.9-, and 5.4-fold higher, respectively, than those of the Lev salt. Furthermore, in vitro skin irritation and in vivo histological studies have demonstrated that Lev-IL has excellent biocompatibility compared with a conventional ionic liquid-based carrier. The results indicate that oil-miscible IL-based drugs provide a simple and scalable strategy for the design of effective transdermal drug delivery systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science