Eight Excipients for Transdermal Drug Delivery Systems Materials


Transdermal drug delivery systems have gained considerable importance in the pharmaceutical industry due to their convenience, effectiveness, and ease of use. These systems rely on various excipients, which are inactive substances that aid in the delivery and absorption of active drug compounds through the skin. In this article, we will discuss eight important excipients commonly used in transdermal drug delivery systems, their properties, and their roles in enhancing drug absorption.


Ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer

Ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) is widely used as a matrix material in transdermal drug delivery systems. With its excellent film-forming and adhesive properties, it helps create a protective layer over the skin, enhancing drug penetration. EVA also offers good flexibility, biocompatibility, and controlled drug release, making it a preferred choice in transdermal patches.



Polypropylene is another excipient commonly employed in transdermal drug delivery systems due to its excellent barrier properties. It acts as a protective layer by preventing drug loss and controlling its release. Additionally, it provides resistance against moisture, oxygen, and other environmental factors, ensuring the stability and efficacy of the drug.


Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)

PVA is an extensively used excipient in transdermal drug delivery systems. Its film-forming ability, biocompatibility, and low toxicity make it an excellent option for drug incorporation. PVA also enhances drug permeation through the skin by hydrating the stratum corneum, thus increasing its flexibility and improving drug diffusion.



Polysiloxanes, also known as silicones, are widely utilized excipients due to their unique properties, such as low surface tension and excellent spreading ability. These characteristics enable better drug spreading over the skin, resulting in enhanced drug absorption. Additionally, polysiloxanes form a protective film that minimizes water loss from the skin, promoting drug stability and improving patient compliance.


Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Polyvinyl chloride is often utilized in the fabrication of transdermal drug delivery systems due to its excellent mechanical and barrier properties. It offers durability, flexibility, and compatibility with a wide range of drugs. PVC also acts as a barrier against physical and chemical interactions, ensuring drug stability while allowing controlled release.


Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)

Dimethyl sulfoxide is a commonly used solvent in transdermal drug delivery systems. Due to its ability to penetrate biological membranes, it enhances drug absorption by carrying the active compound through the skin layers. DMSO also acts as a permeation enhancer by altering the stratum corneum structure, increasing drug solubility, and improving skin hydration.


Oleic acid

Oleic acid is a natural fatty acid often employed as a penetration enhancer in transdermal drug delivery systems. It enhances drug permeation by disrupting the skin barrier function and promoting drug solubilization. Oleic acid possesses a high affinity for lipids in the stratum corneum, resulting in improved drug diffusion and higher drug bioavailability.


Lauric Acid

Lauric acid, another fatty acid, demonstrates excellent permeation enhancement properties in transdermal drug delivery systems. It disrupts the skin barrier, increases drug solubility, and enhances drug partitioning into the stratum corneum. Lauric acid also possesses antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, making it suitable for topical formulations.



In conclusion, the success of transdermal drug delivery systems heavily relies on the selection of appropriate excipients. Ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer, polypropylene, PVA, polysiloxanes, PVC, dimethyl sulfoxide, oleic acid, and lauric acid are among the key excipients that aid in drug absorption, stability, and patient compliance. These excipients play a crucial role in enhancing the effectiveness of transdermal drug delivery systems, providing a convenient and efficient route of drug administration.


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