Mechanistic Study of Electroosmotic Transport Across Hydrated Nail Plates: Effects of pH and Ionic Strength

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The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of pH and ionic strength on electroosmotic transport in transungual iontophoresis. Transungual iontophoretic transport of model neutral permeants mannitol (MA) and urea (UR) across fully hydrated human nail plates in phosphate-buffered saline of different pH and ionic strengths were investigated in vitro. Two protocols were involved in the transport experiments with each protocol divided into stages including passive and iontophoresis transport at 0.1 and/or 0.3 mA. Nail plate electrical resistance and water uptake of nail clippings were measured at various pH and ionic strengths. In the pH study, electroosmosis enhanced the anodal transport of MA at pH 9 and cathodal transport at pH 3. The Peclet numbers of MA were more than two times higher than those of UR under these conditions. No significant electroosmosis enhancement was observed for MA and UR at pH 5. In the ionic strength study, a decrease in solution ionic strength from 0.7 to 0.04 M enhanced electroosmotic transport. Nail electrical resistance increased with decreasing the ionic strength of the equilibrating solution, but reached a plateau when the ionic strength was less than approximately 0.07 M. Solution pH and ionic strength had no significant effect on nail hydration. Under the studied pH and ionic strength conditions, the effects of electroosmosis were small compared to the direct-field effects in transungual iontophoretic transport of small to moderate size permeants.


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Copyright © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association.