Synergistic effect of low-frequency ultrasound and sodium lauryl sulfate on transdermal transport

Samir Mitragotri, Debanjan Ray, Joanne Farrell, Hua Tang, Betty Yu, Joseph Kost, Daniel Blankschtein, Robert Langer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Application of low-frequency ultrasound has been shown to enhance transdermal transport of drugs (low-frequency sonophoresis). In this paper, we show that the efficacy of low-frequency ultrasound in enhancing transdermal transport can be further increased by its combination with sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a well-known surfactant. The dependence of the ultrasound-SLS-mediated transport on ultrasound parameters, including intensity, net exposure time, and duty cycle, is discussed. The transdermal transport enhancement is proportional to ultrasound intensity as well as to exposure time, and is independent of duty cycle as long as the net exposure time is the same. The synergistic effect of SLS and ultrasound on transdermal transport increases linearly with SLS concentration. The enhancement is also proportional to the ultrasound energy density beyond a threshold value, which suggests that a certain minimum amount of energy density is required before noticeable changes in skin permeability occur. A similar dependence of the transdermal transport enhancement on energy density is observed in the case of the enhancement induced by ultrasound alone. Although the threshold energy density value in the presence of SLS is about 10 times lower than that in the case of ultrasound alone, the relationship between enhancement and energy density in the presence and in the absence of SLS is otherwise similar. Possible mechanisms for the synergistic effect of ultrasound and SLS are also discussed. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)892-900
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Sonophoresis
  • Surfactant
  • Synergistic
  • Transdermal
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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