GOALI Project: Comprehensive Model of Molecular Transport and Delivery Through the Skin
Johannes Nitsche Principal Investigator
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9818160 Nitsche Permeation of molecules through skin is a phenomenon central to the function of drug patches and transdermally delivered drugs, topically applied pharmaceuticals, and a variety of personal cleansing, skin-care and beauty-care products. Better understanding of this process is currently one of the<br/>most important factors underlying biomedical advancement and product development in these areas. It is also key to safety issues and the assessment of risks associated with dermal exposure to chemicals and drugs. Strong need therefore exists to be able to predict how, and how fast, different molecules get through the skin. Filling this need requires a basic research effort aimed at understanding the operative transport processes in microscopic detail.<br/><br/>The proposed GOALI project will combine academic and industrial resources to develop a comprehensive theoretical model for predicting skin permeability, embodying advances difficult or impossible to achieve within either type of setting individually. It is based on collaboration between a basic academic researcher<br/>in the field of microscopic transport phenomena with demonstrated experience in biological applications (Johannes M. Nitsche, State University of New York at Buffalo), and an industrial partner offering uniquely extensive research experience, state-of-the-art experimental capability in skin transport and ultra-<br/>structural studies, and strong interest in improved predictive models (Gerald B. Kasting, the Procter & Gamble Company, Miami Valley Laboratories, Cincinnati). The project will produce theory and computational techniques to predict both the basic permeability properties of the epidermal barrier, and the permeability properties of hair follicles and sweat ducts, which penetrate through this surface barrier and provide a shortcut to deeper tissue and the body's circulation. A distinguishing feature of the proposed theory is physical realism, via the incorporation of extensive information and experimental data on tissue structure and material properties at the microscopic scale. This level of realism will ultimately make it possible to predict how fast a given drug or chemical will penetrate through the skin given only its identity (molecular structure) and a specification of how the application or exposure occurs.<br/><br/>The permeability model resulting from the proposed project will be relevant in some degree to most transdermal drug delivery systems, topically applied drugs and skin-care products currently in use, under development or under contemplation. It will also be applicable to the risk assessment process for a variety of<br/>chemicals and products that contact the skin.