Topical Drug Delivery Systems

(Arzneistoffabgabesysteme zur topischen Applikation)

Our mission

The possibility of applying drugs dermally offers fundamental advantages compared to other routes of application. Among those are the avoidance of the first pass effect which occurs after oral application of drugs or negative side effects often induced by parenteral application. The development of dermally applicable systems is therefore of great interest.

Research focuses on the design and optimisation of dermally applied drug delivery systems. Lecithin based nanoemulsions with sugar surfactants, liposomal formulations coated with different polymers, gelified microemulsions as well as polymer nanoparticles are interesting and promising vehicles in terms of skin compatibility and drug permeation.

Our objective is to acquire a better understanding of the factors controlling skin permeation of drugs. By using in vitro models and physico-chemical analysis, interactions between model drugs and formulations are investigated and their influence on topical delivery is determined. Knowledge and understanding of the relationships between vehicle, drug and skin allow for the design of new optimised drug delivery systems.

Major topics

Improvement of penetration and permeation of drugs through skin

Development and testing of polymers and modified polymers as matrices for topical drug delivery systems

Liposomes, nanoemulsions, microemulsions, cubic phases, NLC, Nano lipid carrier (NLC)


  • Skin diffusion

Tape stripping, Franz-cells, human skin, porcine skin, Fingerprint Sensor

  • Bio-FTIR

Interaction skin - drug delivery system

  • Non invasive

TEWL, pH, skin hydration, sebum content, RAMAN spectroscopy

  • Microcalorimetry


Interaction of possible penetration enhancers with model membranes

  • Analytics

UV/VIS, fluorescence, HPLC/diode array, HPLC/fluorescence, [RAMAN], FTIR, rheometer, particle size, zeta potential


2001 - 2004
FWF P125137
Evaluation of the possible use of
phloretin and derivatives as well
as ketocholestanol and derivatives
as enhancers/retarders for skin penetration/permeation

2011 - 2018

Funded by the pharmaceutical industry, BAYER company (Austria)
Stability testing of dermal preparations

2012 - 2017
FWF P24846-B20

Simultaneous determination of
the skin penetration of drug and
vehicle compounds by 19F-NMR and assessment of their interaction
with the skin by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy

C. Valenta is leader of the Research Platform

Characterisation of drug involved mechanisms