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Penetration enhancement

One of the key aspects of oral and topical drug delivery is the diffusion of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) through a membrane, whether that be the skin, stomach lining, or the gut wall. This becomes even more critical with poorly water soluble drugs, which are not only difficult to formulate, but difficult to deliver as well. Our penetration enhancers deliver more of your API to the target location in order to improve product efficacy and lower API costs.
woman applying moisturizing cream to her hands

How do penetration enhancers work? 

The skin is an excellent barrier, and that can make it challenging for topical drug delivery. Penetration enhancers generally function by one of two mechanisms, either by enhancing the solubility of the drug in the skin or by increasing intercellular lipid fluidity, allowing an easier pathway through the skin. 

Our Super Refined™ Arlasolve™ DMI works by increasing the solubility of APIs in the skin. The figure shows how the addition of 10% Arlasolve DMI to a formulation containing a model hydrophilic API results in an 18% increase in API delivered through the stratum corneum, and into the epidermis. 

Super Refined Oleic Acid is a high purity lipid that can act as a penetration enhancer. It improves drug delivery into the skin by temporarily and reversibly disrupting the ordered intercellular lipids. When the intercellular lipids are less ordered and have greater fluidity, it can be easier for APIs to pass between them, resulting in greater topical delivery.  

Croda’s Super Refined penetration enhancers can improve the delivery of APIs into and through the skin, and our formulation expertise can help to guide you in the right direction on which penetration enhancer to choose. As Super Refined excipients, they also bring with them the benefits of improved API stability, lower colour and fewer oxidative degradation products. 

Graph to show comparison of Lidocaine delivery via In Vitro Release Testing (IVRT)

Penetration enhancer

MALDI-MS images have been generated to demonstrate that Super Refined™ Arlasolve™ DMI enhances the penetration of an active (terbinafine hydrochloride) into the epidermis.

To read the details of this, download the Super Refined Arlasolve DMI study or download the datasheet to find out more about Super Refined Arlasolve DMI.

Super Refined™ Arlasolve™ DMI Study

3.6 MB
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Super Refined™ Arlasolve™ DMI

181.6 KB
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Super Refined™ Oleic Acid

399.0 KB
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Super Refined Propylene Glycol

58.5 KB
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View our range of penetration enhancers

Our range of Super Refined™ penetration enhancers can be used in topical formulations including creams, ointments, gels and transdermal patches.

Super Refined™ DMI

Super Refined™ DMI

High purity liquid for use with poorly soluble hydrophilic and hydrophobic actives Enhances the formulation and API stability in transdermal delivery systems Recommended topical usage levels of.....

Super Refined™ DEGEE

Super Refined™ DEGEE

Super Refined DEGEE is a multi-compendial high purity glycol ether This clear colourless liquid demonstrates outstanding permeation enhancement and improved delivery and bioavailability for.....

Super Refined™ Lauryl Lactate

Super Refined™ Lauryl Lactate

Super Refined Lauryl Lactate is a highly purified emollient and penetration enhancer, usually used in topical formulations.

Super Refined™ Oleyl Alcohol

Super Refined™ Oleyl Alcohol

Highly purified lipid-based solubiliser and skin penetration enhancer Ideal for wetting and dispersing actives within topical creams and ointment applications It is an ideal excipient for use in.....

Super Refined™ Oleic Acid

Super Refined™ Oleic Acid

Highly purified oleic acid is used as a co-emulsifier in topical pharmaceutical formulations Ideal for nasal drug delivery and as a penetration enhancer in transdermal formulations In addition it.....

Super Refined™ IPM

Super Refined™ IPM

Highly purified version of Crodamol IPM. Solvent used in topical formulations. Rapid absorption into the skin. Recommended topical usage levels of 0.5-5%.

Scientist creating health care formulation at Croda

Super Refined™ Propylene Glycol

Super Refined Propylene Glycol is a highly purified propylene glycol that has a wide use in pharmaceutical formulations as a solvent stablilising agent water-miscible cosolvent plasticiser.....

Scientist creating health care formulation at Croda

Super Refined™ SCO

Highly purified branched chain ester reducing the possibility of interaction between excipient and sensitive APIs Excellent spreading and wetting properties Recommended topical usage levels of.....

Cithrol™ GMO HP

Cithrol™ GMO HP

High purity oleic acid grade with a GMO content of 92% minimum Offers controlled drug release and enhances active bioavailability Membrane penetration enhancer W/O emulsifier and O/W emulsion.....

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