Topical Administration

Introduction of Topical Administration

Topical administration, encompassing various routes such as transdermal, intra-articular, intratumoral, intrabursal, intradermal, intralesional, and intrasynovial, offers a localized approach to drug delivery. This article explores the advantages and disadvantages of topical administration, discusses the biological barriers it faces, identifies diseases suitable for this route, examines FDA-approved and clinical cases of nano-delivery products, and highlights the benefits of nanoparticles in topical administration.

The Application of Topical Administration

  • Diseases Suitable for Topical Administration

Topical administration is suitable for a wide range of diseases and conditions. Dermatological disorders like psoriasis, eczema, and acne can benefit from targeted topical therapies. Pain management in localized areas, such as joints affected by arthritis, can be effectively addressed through intra-articular administration. Intratumoral, intrabursal, and intralesional routes are utilized in the treatment of specific cancers and inflammatory conditions. Intrasynovial administration targets joint diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. By directly delivering drugs to the affected areas, topical administration allows for optimal therapeutic outcomes with minimal systemic exposure.

  • FDA and Clinical Cases of Topical Nano-Delivery Products

The FDA has approved several topical nano-delivery products, highlighting the potential of this approach. For instance, nanoemulsion-based formulations have been approved for transdermal delivery of anti-inflammatory agents. Clinical cases include the use of nanoparticle-based creams for localized treatment of skin cancers, demonstrating improved therapeutic efficacy and reduced side effects. Furthermore, intra-articular injections utilizing nanoparticle-based formulations have shown promising outcomes in joint diseases. These examples illustrate the growing significance of nanotechnology in topical administration, paving the way for more effective and targeted treatments.

Characteristics of Topical Administration

  • Advantages of Topical Administration

Topical administration offers several advantages as a drug delivery method. Firstly, it provides localized treatment, delivering therapeutic agents directly to the site of action. This targeted approach minimizes systemic exposure, reducing the risk of side effects. Additionally, topical administration is non-invasive, making it more patient-friendly than invasive procedures. It allows for convenient self-application, enhancing patient compliance. Moreover, this route enables sustained release of drugs, leading to prolonged therapeutic effects and reducing the frequency of administration. Overall, topical administration presents a promising solution for various medical conditions.

  • Disadvantages and Biological Barrier

Despite its advantages, topical administration does face certain limitations. One significant challenge is the biological barrier presented by the skin, which serves as a protective layer. The stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the epidermis, restricts the permeability of drugs, hindering their absorption. Additionally, the skin's enzymatic activity may degrade certain compounds, limiting their efficacy. Formulation issues such as limited drug solubility and stability also pose challenges. Overcoming these obstacles requires careful consideration of drug properties and the development of innovative delivery systems.

  • Advantages of Nanoparticles in Topical Administration

Lipid vesicular gels for topical administration of antioxidants. Figure 1. Lipid vesicular gels for topical administration of antioxidants.

Nanoparticles offer distinct advantages in topical administration. Their small size allows for enhanced drug penetration through the skin's barrier, overcoming limitations associated with conventional formulations. Furthermore, nanoparticles can encapsulate both hydrophilic and lipophilic drugs, expanding the range of therapeutic agents that can be delivered topically. They also provide sustained release properties, prolonging drug availability at the site of action. Moreover, nanoparticles can be surface-modified to achieve specific targeting and controlled release. These characteristics make nanoparticles a valuable tool in topical administration, enabling optimized drug delivery and improved treatment outcomes.

Our Featured Services

CD Bioparticles is specialized in the development of drug delivery systems and customizing nanoparticles for drug delivery utilizing our core technologies. With our high-quality products and services, the efficacy of your drug delivery can be tremendously improved.

We offer custom synthesis of polymer microspheres and nanoparticles. Clients may select the material type, particle size, size distribution, color dye, fluorescent dye, and/or surface functional groups such as carboxyl or amine groups. We also encapsulate proteins, steroids, ligands, nucleic acids, and other drug molecules. Additionally, the surface coating of microspheres or nanoparticles with ligands, oligonucleotides, and other agents are available for clients to choose.


  1. Fornasier M, et al.; Lipid vesicular gels for topical administration of antioxidants. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2022, 213:112388.
  2. Sanz R, et al.; Enhancing topical analgesic administration: review and prospect for transdermal and transbuccal drug delivery systems. Curr Pharm Des. 2015, 21(20):2867-82.
  3. Boddu SH, et al.; Drug delivery to the back of the eye following topical administration: an update on research and patenting activity. Recent Pat Drug Deliv Formul. 2014, 8(1):27-36.
  4. Alany R., et al.; Topical and Transdermal Formulation and Drug Delivery. Pharm Dev Technol. 2017, 22(4):457.
  5. Fornasier M, et al.; Lipid vesicular gels for topical administration of antioxidants. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2022, 213:112388.
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