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Chemosphere. 2004 Jun;55(10):1309-14.

Modelling skin permeability in risk assessment--the future.

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Department of Chemistry, National University of Ireland-Cork, Cork, Ireland.


The modelling of skin permeability is important for transdermal drug delivery, in the cosmetic industry and for risk assessment attendant on dermal exposure to toxic substances. The two principal methods currently used are quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs), used in the main to predict permeability coefficients, and mathematical modelling based on analytical or numerical solutions to the relevant partition and transport equations and used to predict the amount of a substance permeating through the skin. This paper will assess recent progress in this area and suggest what will be needed for future advancements. The considerable effort invested in the development of QSARs during the past decade has resulted in only rather modest progress. Further significant improvement in our ability to predict percutaneous permeability is likely to require the measurement of new data under carefully controlled conditions and its fitting to new QSAR equations. Reliable assessments of risks following dermal exposures will demand new integrated mathematical models that include the variables associated with the exposure and penetration processes as well as the factors that control the subsequent passage of the penetrant into the systemic system.

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