A statistical experimental design approach to evaluate the influence of various penetration enhancers on transdermal drug delivery of buprenorphine.
A series of drug-in-adhesive transdermal drug delivery systems (patch) with different chemical penetration enhancers were designed to deliver drug through the skin as a site of application. The objective of our effort was to study the influence of various chemical penetration enhancers on skin permeation rate and adhesion properties of a transdermal drug delivery system using Box-Behnken experimental design. The response surface methodology based on a three-level, three-variable Box-Behnken design was used to evaluate the interactive effects on dependent variables including, the rate of skin permeation and adhesion properties, namely peel strength and tack value. Levulinic acid, lauryl alcohol, and Tween 80 were used as penetration enhancers (patch formulations, containing 0-8% of each chemical penetration enhancer). Buprenorphine was used as a model penetrant drug. The results showed that incorporation of 20% chemical penetration enhancer into the mixture led to maximum skin permeation flux of buprenorphine from abdominal rat skin while the adhesion properties decreased. Also that skin flux in presence of levulinic acid (1.594 μg/cm(2) h) was higher than Tween 80 (1.473 μg/cm(2) h) and lauryl alcohol (0.843 μg/cm(2) h), and in mixing these enhancers together, an additional effect was observed. Moreover, it was found that each enhancer increased the tack value, while levulinic acid and lauryl alcohol improved the peel strength but Tween 80 reduced it. These findings indicated that the best chemical skin penetration enhancer for buprenorphine patch was levulinic acid. Among the designed formulations, the one which contained 12% (wt/wt) enhancers exhibited the highest efficiency.