Development, Evaluation, and Pharmacokinetic Assessment of Polymeric Microarray Patches for Transdermal Delivery of Vancomycin Hydrochloride

Delly Ramadon, Andi Dian Permana, Aaron J. Courtenay, Maelíosa T. C. Mccrudden, Ismaiel A. Tekko, Emma Mcalister, Qonita Kurnia Anjani, Emilia Utomo, Helen O. Mccarthy, Ryan F. Donnelly

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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can cause harmful and potentially deadly infections. Vancomycin remains the first-line antibiotic treatment for MRSA-derived infections. Nevertheless, as a peptide drug, it is poorly absorbed when administered orally because of its high molecular weight and low permeability in the gastrointestinal tract and is therefore administered intravenously for the treatment of systemic diseases. In order to circumvent some of the many drawbacks associated with intravenous injection, other routes of drug delivery should be investigated. One of the strategies which has been employed to enhance transdermal drug delivery is based on microarray patches (MAPs). This work, for the first time, describes successful transdermal delivery of vancomycin hydrochloride (VCL) using dissolving MAPs (DMAPs) and hydrogel-forming MAPs (HFMAPs). VCL was formulated into DMAPs and reservoirs [film dosage forms, lyophilized wafers, and compressed tablets (CSTs)] using excipients such as poly(vinyl pyrrolidone), poly(vinyl alcohol), sodium hyaluronate, d-sorbitol, and glycerol. In this study, HFMAPs were manufactured using aqueous blends containing poly(methylvinyl ether-co-maleic acid) cross-linked by esterification with poly(ethylene glycol). The VCL-loaded CSTs (60% w/w VCL) were the most promising reservoirs to be integrated with HFMAPs based on the physicochemical evaluations performed. Both HFMAPs and DMAPs successfully delivered VCL in ex vivo studies with the percentage of drug that permeated across the neonatal porcine skin recorded at 46.39 ± 8.04 and 7.99 ± 0.98%, respectively. In in vivo studies, the area under the plasma concentration time curve from time zero to infinity (AUC0-∞) values of 162.04 ± 61.84 and 61.01 ± 28.50 μg h/mL were achieved following the application of HFMAPs and DMAPs, respectively. In comparison, the AUC0-∞ of HFMAPs was significantly greater than that of the oral administration control group, which showed an AUC0-∞ of 30.50 ± 9.18 μg h/mL (p < 0.05). This work demonstrates that transdermal delivery of VCL is feasible using DMAPs and HFMAPs and could prove effective in the treatment of infectious diseases caused by MRSA, such as skin and soft tissue infections, lymphatic-related infections, and neonatal sepsis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3353-3368
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number9
Early online date4 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 8 Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education (Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidikan/LPDP) scholarship. The authors also thank Nadia Farhanah Syafhan (PhD candidate in the Clinical and Practice Research Group, School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast) for sharing her knowledge in pharmacokinetic consultations.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • dissolving
  • hydrogel-forming
  • microarray patches
  • neonatal sepsis
  • transdermal delivery
  • vancomycin hydrochloride


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