Content » Vol 73, Issue 3

Investigative Report

Effect of pressure on in vitro percutaneous absorption of caffeine

Treffel P, Panisset F, Humbert P, Remoussenard O, Bechtel Y, Agache P
DOI: 10.2340/000155555573200202


The effect of increased pressure, which is a mechanical property of massage, was investigated on the percutaneous absorption of an amphiphilic compound (caffeine) in vitro on Franz diffusion cells, using excised human skin. 50 microliters of either a 320 micrograms/ml or a 15 mg/ml acetone solution of caffeine were pipetted onto the surface of each skin sample, which represented caffeine skin deposits of 5 micrograms/cm2 and 240 micrograms/cm2 respectively. During each experiment, a pressure device delivering 0.25 bar over the atmospheric pressure was applied for the first 30 min on half of the cells. At 2, 4, 6, 8, 12 and 24 h the aqueous dermal bathing solution, containing 14 g/l albumin, was removed and chromatographed. With the applied dose of 5 micrograms/cm2 no statistical difference was found between the cumulated absorbed amount under atmospheric pressure and increased pressure. On the other hand, with the applied dose of 240 micrograms/cm2, the permeation of caffeine was 1.8 times higher under increased pressure than the permeation under atmospheric pressure (p < 0.05). This enhancing effect of increased pressure was probably connected to either an improved transappendageal route during the percutaneous absorption process or a higher stratum corneum filling-up.


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