Investigator Impact on Reproducibility of Drug Bioavailability in Stratum Corneum Sampling by Tape Stripping

Pharmaceutical Research(2022)

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Skin sampling by tape stripping measures the local bioavailability of topical drug products in the stratum corneum (SC). The goal of the current study was to evaluate the impact of different investigators in studies that utilize a tape stripping protocol designed to minimize investigator variability. Two open-label clinical studies compared two lidocaine patches and a diclofenac patch and solution in twelve healthy volunteers. The mass of drug was determined in SC samples collected on tape strips at three time points following product removal in duplicate by two investigators. Investigator results were compared with each other and with results for the diclofenac solution measured by another laboratory using a similar protocol. For drug mass, the geometric mean ratio comparing two investigators is within the acceptable bioequivalence interval for most measurement times and drug products. Drug uptake into the SC from the diclofenac solution was not statistically different from that determined in another laboratory. The average flux from the SC over the clearance intervals for the four drug products correspond well with flux measurements from in vitro permeation tests. Results from different investigators are reproducible within the limitations of measurement variability, which can be managed by increasing volunteer numbers.
Skin sampling, Tape stripping, Stratum corneum, Lidocaine, Diclofenac
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