Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research


Oxygen Diffusion Coefficients in Commonly Used Topical Semisolid Creams

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1988


The objective of this paper is to determine oxygen diffusion coefficients, permeabilities, and solubilities in a commonly used o/w topical ointment (similar to USP XXI hydrophilic ointment) and four commercial 1% anthralin creams. A new method developed by Ju and Ho in 1986 by applying a coupled steady-state and unsteady-state analysis for oxygen diffusion through a thin layer of test material on the surface of a membrane-covered polarographic oxygen electrode was used in the study. The results indicate that oxygen diffusion coefficients decrease with an increasing petrolatum concentration in o/w topical creams. The oxygen diffusion coefficients in four commercial creams containing 1% of extremely oxygen-sensitive anthralin were also determined using the same method. The information generated in this study can lead to a better understanding of the diffusion transport mechanism of oxygen in the topical creams and, thus, be useful to the formulation design of oxygen-sensitive drugs in semisolid dosage forms intended for topical, ophthalmic, and parenteral use.





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