15 June 2018
Source:European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 118
Author(s): Lúcia F. Santos, Ilídio J. Correia, A. Sofia Silva, João F. Mano
The limited efficiency of conventional drugs has been instigated the development of new and more effective drug delivery systems (DDS). Transdermal DDS, are associated with numerous advantages such its painless application and less frequent replacement and greater flexibility of dosing, features that triggered the research and development of such devices. Such systems have been produced using either biopolymer; or synthetic polymers. Although the first ones are safer, biocompatible and present a controlled degradation by human enzymes or water, the second ones are the most currently available in the market due to their greater mechanical resistance and flexibility, and non-degradation over time. This review highlights the most recent advances (mainly in the last five years) of patches aimed for transdermal drug delivery, focusing on the different materials (natural, synthetic and blends) and latest designs for the development of such devices, emphasizing also their combination with drug carriers that enable enhanced drug solubility and a more controlled release of the drug over the time. The benefits and limitations of different patches formulations are considered with reference to their appliance to transdermal drug delivery. Furthermore, a record of the currently available patches on the market is given, featuring their most relevant characteristics. Finally, a list of most recent/ongoing clinical trials regarding the use of patches for skin disorders is detailed and critical insights on the current state of patches for transdermal drug delivery are also provided.