Therapeutic drug monitoring by reverse Iontophoresis

Author(s): Anroop B Nair, Ankit Goel, Shashi Prakash, Ashok Kumar

Therapeutic molecules possessing distinct pharmacokinetic variation, narrow therapeutic index and concentration dependent therapeutic/adverse effects demand constant monitoring. The current methods for blood sampling are invasive and possess low patient compliance. Human skin, selective and effective membrane to chemical permeation, offers an alternative route for the extraction of endogenous molecules in the body. Significant attention has been received in the application of reverse iontophoresis in extracting drugs/biomaterials from the subdermal region. This technique involves transiting of a low electric current across the skin usually with couple of skin electrodes to extract charged as well as neutral molecules. Electromigration and electroosmosis are the two basic mechanisms involved in transport of molecules. Several in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated the potential of reverse iontophoresis as a noninvasive tool in clinical chemistry and therapeutic drug monitoring. This technology is currently being used in device such as Glucowatch Biogrpaher which allows blood glucose detection across skin layers. Advances in technology and rapid progress in research has widely improved the opportunity of this system, and the recent trend indicates that several products are likely to be developed very soon. This review provides an overview about the recent developments in reverse iontophoresis for therapeutic drug monitoring.

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