Laser assisted drug delivery: a review of an evolving technology.
Lasers in surgery and medicine
BACKGROUND: Topically applied drugs have a relatively low cutaneous bioavailability.
OBJECTIVE: This article reviews the existing applications of laser assisted drug delivery, a means by which the permeation of topically applied agents can be enhanced into the skin.
RESULTS: The existing literature suggests that lasers are a safe and effective means of enhancing the delivery of topically applied agents through the skin. The types of lasers most commonly studied in regards to drug delivery are the carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and erbium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Er:YAG) lasers. Both conventional ablative and fractional ablative modalities have been utilized and are summarized herein.
LIMITATIONS: The majority of the existing studies on laser assisted drug delivery have been performed on animal models and additional human studies are needed.
CONCLUSIONS: Laser assisted drug delivery is an evolving technology with potentially broad clinical applications. Multiple studies demonstrate that laser pretreatment of the skin can increase the permeability and depth of penetration of topically applied drug molecules for both local cutaneous and systemic applications.
Medical Subject Headings
Administration, Cutaneous; Adrenal Cortex Hormones; Analgesics, Opioid; Anesthetics, Local; Animals; Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal; Antineoplastic Agents; Ascorbic Acid; Drug Delivery Systems; Humans; Lasers, Gas; Lasers, Solid-State; Photochemotherapy; Photosensitizing Agents; Vaccines