Mid-infrared laser ablation of stratum corneum enhances in vitro percutaneous transport of drugs

J. Stuart Nelson, Jerry L. McCullough, Thomas C. Glenn, William H. Wright, Lih Huei L Liaw, Steven Jacques

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Abstract

The precise removal of stratum corneum from cadaveric swine skin by a mid-infrared erbium: yttrium scandium gallium garnet laser (γ = 2.79 μm; 250 μsec pulse width) was assessed by electrical resistance measurements and documented by histology. The effects of stratum corneum removal by laser ablation and by adhesive tape-stripping on the in vitro penetration of 3H-hydrocortisone and 1251-γ-interferon were determined. Excised swine skin was irradiated with laser (1 J/cm2; 31 mJ/pulse; 1 Hz; 2 mm spot diameter). For skin penetration studies, laser pulses were delivered to discrete 2-mm areas to ablate up to 12.6% of the total 3-cm2 stratum corneum diffusional area. Franz in vitro skin penetration chambers were used to measure the cumulative 48-h penetration of 3H-hydrocortisone and 1251-γ-interferon in laser-treated and tape-stripped skin. Electrical resistance measurements and histologic studies demonstrated that 10-14 laser pulses at the above energy density were required to abolish skin resistance and selectively ablate stratum corneum without damage to adjacent dermal structures. Laser ablation of 12.6% of the surface area of stratum corneum produced a 2.8 and 2.1-times increase in permeability constant (kp) for 3H-hydrocortisone and 1251-γ-interferon, respectively. These studies demonstrate that a pulsed mid-infrared laser can reliably and precisely remove the stratum corneum, facilitating penetration of large molecules such as 125I γ-interferon that cannot penetrate intact skin. This new technique may be useful for basic and clinical investigation of skin barrier properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-879
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Volume97
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1991
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

Cite this

Nelson, J. S., McCullough, J. L., Glenn, T. C., Wright, W. H., Liaw, L. H. L., & Jacques, S. (1991). Mid-infrared laser ablation of stratum corneum enhances in vitro percutaneous transport of drugs. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 97(5), 874-879.