Iontophoresis of minoxidil sulphate loaded microparticles, a strategy for follicular drug targeting?

Guilherme M. Gelfuso, M. Angélica de Oliveira Barros, M. Begoña Delgado-Charro, Richard H. Guy, Renata F. V. Lopez

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The feasibility of targeting drugs to hair follicles by a combination of microencapsulation and iontophoresis has been evaluated. Minoxidil sulphate (MXS), which is used in the treatment of alopecia, was selected as a relevant drug with respect to follicular penetration. The skin permeation and disposition of MXS encapsulated in chitosan microparticles (MXS-MP) was evaluated in vitro after passive and iontophoretic delivery. Uptake of MXS was quantified at different exposure times in the stratum corneum (SC) and hair follicles. Microencapsulation resulted in increased (6-fold) drug accumulation in the hair follicles relative to delivery from a simple MXS solution. Application of iontophoresis enhanced follicular delivery for both the solution and the microparticle formulations. It appears, therefore, that microencapsulation and iontophoresis can act synergistically to enhance topical drug targeting to hair follicles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-412
Number of pages5
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Early online date19 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • Chitosan
  • Hair follicle
  • Iontophoresis
  • Microparticle
  • Minoxidil sulphate
  • Topical drug delivery


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