Transdermal Delivery of a Hydrogen Sulphide Donor, ADT-OH Using Aqueous Gel Formulations for the Treatment of Impaired Vascular Function: an Ex Vivo Study

Mandeep Kaur Marwah, Hala Shokr, Lissette Sanchez-Aranguren, Raj Kumar Singh Badhan, Keqing Wang, Shakil Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) is an important signalling molecule involved in the regulation of several physiological and pathophysiological processes. The objective of this study was to investigate the feasibility of transdermal delivery of ADT-OH, a H2S donor, by investigating the transdermal flux of aqueous gels loaded with penetration enhancers or liposomes. Furthermore, we explored the ability of permeated ADT-OH to promote angiogenesis and mitochondrial bioenergetics in HUVEC cells.

METHODS: Aqueous hypromellose gels (5% w/v) were prepared with up to 10% v/v propylene glycol (PG) or deformable liposomes with 0.025% w/w ADT-OH. ADT-OH permeation from formulations across excised murine skin into PBS was quantified over 24 h using HPLC-UV detection. Media was collected and applied to HUVEC cells to evidence ADT-OH functionality following permeation. Tube formation assays were performed as indicative of angiogenesis and mitochondrial oxygen consumption was evaluated using a Seahorse XF24.

RESULTS: Increasing the loading of PG caused an increase in ADT-OH permeation rate across skin and a decrease in dermal drug retention whereas liposomal gels produced a slow-release profile. Treatment of HUVEC's using conditioned media collected from the ADT-OH loaded permeation studies enhanced tube formation and the basal oxygen consumption rates after 30 min of treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate that transdermal delivery of ADT-OH may provide a promising approach in the treatment of impaired vascular function. Gels prepared with 10% v/v PG have the potential for use in conditions requiring rapid H2S release whereas liposomal loaded gels for treatment requiring sustained H2S release.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-352
Number of pages12
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number2
Early online date27 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement/drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Drug Compounding
  • Energy Metabolism/drug effects
  • Female
  • Gels
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells/drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Sulfide/administration & dosage
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria/drug effects
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic/drug effects
  • Oxygen Consumption/drug effects
  • Skin Absorption
  • Thiones/administration & dosage


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