The use of low intensity unidirectional current is one way to ensure the penetration of chemicals into the skin (iontophoresis). According to preliminary results of the study, the mice that received the drug in combination with iontophoresis, tumor size was significantly reduced.
"One problem with this type of treatment - an insufficient penetration of the drug in the stratum corneum, consisting mainly of dead cells. This is an important fabric barrier against the penetration of micro-organisms, but it also hinders the transport of drugs ", - says the project manager Renata Fonseca Vianna Lopez.
However, in the case of skin cancer goal it is that the drug is concentrated in the area below the stratum corneum. For this reason, the chemotherapeutic agent is placed inside the nanoparticles.
Researchers have entered mice injection of human tumor cells to form a squamous cell carcinoma. The drug comprises a chemotherapeutic agent 5-fluorouracil, encapsulated within a nanoparticle (liposome), which functions as an antibody. Malignant cells take up a greater amount of drug.
One group of rodents received the drug by subcutaneous injection, and the other - in conjunction with iontophoresis. "We believe that the method in conjunction with iontophoresis to dissipate the drug throughout the tumor area, while in the ordinary administration of it is concentrated in one place," - says Lopez.
In another study, a group of scientists used more rigid type of polymeric nanoparticles for the treatment of uveitis, inflammation of the eye tissue. "When we use the drug directly to the eye, he quickly disappears because of the protective mechanisms, such as tears. Increased penetration and best results are achieved by using the method of application in combination with iontophoresis ", - says Lopez.
Scientists plan to test the new method for the treatment of chronic wounds. "In this case we are not dealing with the barrier of the stratum corneum. We use iontophoresis to assess its impact on the release of the substance, and the growth of microorganisms, "- says Lopez. The method consists in placing the peptide with anti-inflammatory properties on the film made from the fibers of cocoon silkworm. The film is placed on the wound as a dressing, which affects the electrical current.