Tomasz Ciach PhD Eng. Professor
Beata Butruk-Raszeja PhD Eng.
Magdalena Janczewska MSc Eng.
Katarzyna Każmierska MSc Eng.
Kamil Kopeć MSc Eng.
Piotr Kowalczyk MSc Eng.
Martyna Kucharska PhD Eng.
Aleksandra Kuźmińska, MSc Eng.
Aleksandra Kulikowska MSc Eng.
Ilona Łojszczyk MSc Eng.
Aleksandra Mościcka-Studzińska MSc Eng.
Rafał Podgórski MSc Eng.
Aleksandra Poniatowska MSc Eng.
Agata Stefanek MSc Eng.
Paulina Trzaskowska MSc Eng.
Maciej Trzaskowski MSc Eng.

Iga Wasiak MSc Eng.

Michał Wojasiński MSc Eng.


Home arrow Projects arrow Drug delivery in electric field arrow Drugs transport through tissues
Drugs transport through tissues

The most frequently applied way medicine taking is oral route. Unfortunately absorption from digestive system is unstable and dependent on many factors (e.g. diet). Additionally the drug is exposed to low pH and digestive enzymes, and before comes to systemic circulation it may be metabolized to inactive form in a liver (first pass effect). From patients’ point of view very popular is painless medicine taking, so injection or subcutaneous implantation isn’t easily accepted. The alternative is a transport of active substance through skin or buccal mucosa; however the diffusion of drug particle may be to slow to deliver a dose for systemic effect of pharmacotherapy. It seems to increase this transport and master this process it’s a way to achieve supremacy in creating new therapeutic systems.

At the BioMedical Engineering Laboratory we examine ex vivo iontophoresis and electroporation, additionally we investigate influence of chemical enhancers for drug transport through skin (keratinized tissue) and buccal mucosa (non-keratinized).

The iontophoresis is non-invasive method of drug delivery under condition of externally applied direct current (fig. 1). It is making enable precisely controlled transport of ionic drugs.

Fig. 1. Iontophoresis.

The driving force of drug ions movement is a potential difference.  Iontophoresis enhances especially cations movements because cell membrane has negative net charge, so cations have bigger mobility then anions. Non-ionic particles we can also carry – we do this via coexisting with iontophoresis phenomenon of electrooosmosis. Elctroosmosis it is water dipoles transport which solvated ions.  The moving ions and water communicate motion to all surrounding particles, to drug too (fig. 2). If we dissolve together non-ionic drug and salt (e.g. NaCl) and turn on direct current we can enhance and control the drug transport.

Fig. 2. Electroosmosis.

Reverse iontophoresis, which means to extract some substances from body, is useful for monitoring metabolites without drawing blood with needle. If iontophoretic device is coupled with biosensor we can detect the concentration of metabolite on-line.

Electroporation is another method of enhance the drug transport through tissue. It is increasing the permeability by pulsating electrical field. The pores in cell plasma membrane are formed by the electrical pulse and reseal after a short period of time, during which extracellular compounds have a chance to enter into the cell (fig. 3). However we use electric field in this process, the driving force of drug movement is a concentration difference.

Fig. 3. Electroporation.

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