Skin adhesive hydrogels for the topical delivery of active agents

  • R.K. Bahia

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis illustrates the development of tailor-made, partially hydrated skin adhesive hydrogels as a vehicle for the topical delivery of moisturising agents. Maintaining an optimum hydration level of the stratum corneum ensures that the barrier properties of the skin are preserved.
An unsaturated ionic monomer 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonic acid sodium salt, glycerol, water, a photoinitiator Irgacure 184 and crosslinker Ebacryl II facilitated the production of monophasic sheet skin adhesives using photopolymerisation. The exploration and modification of the hydrogel components coupled with their influence on the adhesive and dynamic mechanical behaviour led to the development of novel monophasic and biphasic hydrogels.
Biphasic pregels comprising of a hydrophobic monomer (epoxidised soybean oil acrylate, lauryl acrylate or stearyl acrylate) micellised with a non ionic surfactant Tween 60 allowed a homogeneous distribution throughout a predominantly hydrophilic phase (2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonic acid sodium salt, 4-acryloylmorpholine, glycerol and water). Further development of biphasic hydrogel technology led to the incorporation of preformed commercial O/W emulsions (Acronal, Flexbond 150, DM137 or Texicryl 13056WB) allowing the hydrophobic component to be added without prior stabilisation.
The topical release of moisturising agents 2-pyrrolidone-5-carboxylic acid, lactobionic acid and d-calcium pantothenate results in the deposition onto the skin by an initial burst mechanism. The hydration level of the stratum corneum was measured using a Comeometer CM 825, Skin Reader MY810 or FT-ATR. The use of hydrophilic actives in conjunction with lipophilic agents for example Vitamin E or Jojoba oil provided an occlusive barrier, which reduced the rate of transepidermal water loss. The partition coefficients of the release agents provided invaluable information which enabled the appropriate gel technology to be selected.
In summary the synthetic studies led to the understanding and generation of transferable technology. This enabled the synthesis of novel vehicles allowing an array of actives with a range of solubilities to be incorporated.
Date of AwardSept 2006
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorBrian Tighe (Supervisor)


  • Skin adhesive hydrogels
  • monophasic
  • biphasic
  • topical delivery
  • skin moisturisation

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