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Writer: Brenda Pincock
The purpose of the present article is to briefly recount the contributions of Prof. William I. Higuchi to the area of skin transport. These contributions include developing fundamental knowledge of the barrier properties of the stratum corneum, mechanisms of skin transport, concentration gradient across skin in topical drug applications that target the viable epidermal layer, and permeation enhancement by chemical and electrical means. The complex and changeable nature of the skin barrier makes it difficult to assess and characterize the critical parameters that influence skin permeation. The systematic and mechanistic approaches taken by Dr. Higuchi in studying these parameters provided fundamental knowledge in this area and had a measured and lasting influence upon this field of study. This article specifically reviews the validation and characterization of the polar permeation pathway, the mechanistic model of skin transport, the influence of the dermis on the target skin concentration concept, and iontophoretic transport across the polar pathway of skin including the effects of electroosmosis and electropermeabilization. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel