Time-Dependent Electrical Properties of Human Nail Upon Hydration In Vivo

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1-1-2011


The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of hydration and solution ion concentration on the electrical properties of human nail in vivo and compare these in vivo results with those in vitro. In vivoelectrical resistance measurements on the nail were conducted with a three-electrode system in phosphate buffered saline of 0.01–0.6 M. The effect of electric current on nail resistance and possible adverse effects were studied under 1.5- and 9-V iontophoresis in vivo. The electrical resistance of the nail plate was measured in vitro in side-by-side diffusion cells under the same conditions and compared with those in vivo. The in vivo electrical resistance decreased significantly upon 2-h nail hydration and then slowly decreased to a constant value, showing the same pattern as that in vitro. No significant effect of the applied voltage upon the nail electrical resistance was observed. Higher current densities caused moderate sensation and slight changes in nail appearance after iontophoresis. The observed decrease in nail resistance demonstrates the significance of nail hydration in transungual iontophoresis. The in vitro and in vivo correlation suggests that the in vitro nail plate can be a model in the research and development of transungual iontophoretic delivery.


The Version of Record is available from the publisher at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002%2Fjps.21800