Transdermal Protein Delivery Using Choline and Geranate (CAGE) Deep Eutectic Solvent


Amrita Banerjee, Kelly Ibsen, Yasunori Iwao, Michael Zakrewsky, and Samir Mitragotri. 2017. “Transdermal Protein Delivery Using Choline and Geranate (CAGE) Deep Eutectic Solvent.” Adv Healthc Mater, 6, 15.


Transdermal delivery of peptides and other biological macromolecules is limited due to skin's inherent low permeability. Here, the authors report the use of a deep eutectic solvent, choline and geranate (CAGE), to enhance topical delivery of proteins such as bovine serum albumin (BSA, molecular weight: ≈66 kDa), ovalbumin (OVA, molecular weight: ≈45 kDa) and insulin (INS, molecular weight: 5.8 kDa). CAGE enhances permeation of BSA, OVA, and insulin into porcine skin ex vivo, penetrating deep into the epidermis and dermis. Studies using tritium-labeled BSA and fluorescein isothiocyanate labeled insulin show significantly enhanced delivery of proteins into and across porcine skin, penetrating the skin in a time-dependent manner. Fourier transform IR spectra of porcine stratum corneum (SC) samples before and after incubation in CAGE show a reduction in peak area attributed to SC lipid content, suggesting lipid extraction from the SC. Circular dichroism confirms that CAGE does not affect insulin's secondary conformation. In vivo studies in rats show that topical application of 10 U insulin dispersed in CAGE (25 U kg insulin dose) leads to a highly significant 40% drop in blood glucose levels in 4 h that is relatively sustained for 12 h. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that CAGE is a promising vehicle for transdermal delivery of therapeutic proteins; specifically, as a noninvasive delivery alternative to injectable insulin for the treatment of diabetes.