Liposomes are frequently described as drug delivery systems for dermal and transdermal applications. Recently, it has been shown that particulate substances penetrate effectively into hair follicles and that the follicular penetration depth can be increased by massaging the skin, which simulates the in vivo movement of hairs in the hair follicles. In the present study, massage was applied to skin mounted to Franz diffusion cells. By means of confocal laser scanning microscopy, the influence of massage and occlusion on the follicular penetration depths of rigid and flexible liposomes loaded with a hydrophilic and lipophilic dye was investigated. The application of massage increased follicular penetration significantly. Occlusion resulted in an increased follicular penetration depth only for rigid liposomes, whereas invasomes did not penetrate more effectively if occlusion was applied. The results confirm that massage is an important tool for increasing follicular penetration in ex vivo studies using Franz diffusion cells. Occlusion may reduce the efficacy of follicular penetration depending on the specific liposomal preparation. Rigidity in particular appears to be a relevant parameter. (c) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, 2014, Vol 86, Issue 2, p. 301-306