A novel approach for noninvasive drug delivery and sensing through the amniotic sac

Aharon Azagury, Eliz Amar-Lewis, Ella Mann, Riki Goldbart, Tamar Traitel, Raz Jelinek, Mordechai Hallak, Joseph Kost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Current invasive prenatal tests (amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling) are known for their risk to the fetus. In the last decade, the use and awareness of these prenatal tests have increased, resulting in growing demand for a safe, non-invasive, and accurate prenatal test. Chemical penetration enhancers (CPEs) have long been used to increase transport phenomena across skin and other membranes (e.g., tympanic membrane). The amniotic sac membrane is called the chorioamnion (CA) membrane and serves as the physical barrier between the fetus and the mother. In this research, the effect of CPEs on human CA mass transport was evaluated both in vitro and ex vivo. The results show that the tested CPEs exhibit an enhancing effect on CA mass transport. Based on the permeability results, two mechanisms of action were suggested: "extractors" and "fluidizers". Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and rapid colorimetric screening measurements supported the mechanisms, based on which, more potent compounds were designed and tested for their enhancing effect. The enhancing mass transport effect of CPEs on CA membrane may be used both for sampling of cell-free DNA and for noninvasively administering drugs and other biological agents to the amniotic sac.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemical penetration enhancers
  • Drug delivery and prenatal tests


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