percutaneous absorption

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per·cu·ta·ne·ous ab·sorp·tion

the absorption of drugs, allergens, and other substances through unbroken skin. The corneal layer of epidermis is the principal barrier.

percutaneous absorption

the process of absorption through the skin from topical application.


(ab-sorp'shon) [L. absorptio]
1. The taking up of liquids by solids, or of gases by solids or liquids.
2. The taking up of light or its energy by black or colored rays.
3. The taking up by the body of radiant energy, causing a rise in body temperature.
4. The reduction in intensity of an x-ray photon as it passes through a substance or a beam of light as it passes through a solution (used in clinical photometry as well as nuclear methods).
5. The passage of a substance through some surface of the body into body fluids and tissues, such as the diffusion of oxygen from the alveolar air into the blood, or the active transport of amino acids from food through the epithelium of the small intestine.

carbohydrate absorption

The taking up of the monosaccharides by the brush border of the small intestine.

colonic absorption

The uptake of water, electrolytes such as sodium, amino acids, and some drugs by the mucosa of the large bowel.

cutaneous absorption

Absorption through the skin. Synonym: percutaneous absorption

external absorption

Absorption of material by the skin and mucous membrane.

fat absorption

The taking up of glycerols and fatty acids, suspended in bile salts, into the villi of the small intestine.

gastric absorption

Absorption of water, alcohol, and some salts through the gastric mucosa.

mouth absorption

Oral or buccal absorption of materials or medicines such as nicotine or nitroglycerin. Alkaloids are better absorbed through the oral mucosa than acidic chemicals.

parenteral absorption

Absorption of fluids, electrolytes, and nutrients from a site other than the gastrointestinal tract.

pathological absorption

Absorption of a substance normally excreted (e.g., urine) or of a product of disease processes (e.g., pus) into the blood or lymph.

percutaneous absorption

Cutaneous absorption.

protein absorption

The taking up of amino acids—singly, or linked as dipeptides or tripeptides—by the brush border of the small intestine.

small intestinal absorption

The uptake of water, fatty acids, monosaccharides, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals from the lumen of the gut into the capillary networks and lacteals of the villi. The small intestine is the major site of nutrient absorption in the body.


1. the act of taking up or in by specific chemical or molecular action; especially the passage of liquids or other substances through a surface of the body into body fluids and tissues, as in the absorption of the end products of digestion into the villi that line the intestine.
2. in radiology, uptake of energy by matter with which the radiation interacts.

chemical absorption
any process by which one substance in liquid or solid form penetrates the surface of another substance.
Compton absorption effect
differential absorption
the difference in the absorption of x-rays by different tissues.
digestive absorption
the passage of the end products of digestion from the gastrointestinal tract into the blood and lymphatic vessels and the cells of tissues. Absorption of this kind can take place either by diffusion or by active transport.
percutaneous absorption
a passive process in which noxious or therapeutic substances pass through the skin into the body.
radiation absorption
the dissipation of radiant energy as it passes through matter. This phenomenon is of particular importance in diagnostic and therapeutic radiology, which depends on the interaction between ionizing radiations and matter. As radiation passes through matter, it is absorbed by an amount dependent on the atomic and molecular structure and thickness of the substance, and the energy of the primary photons. If radiations pass through a medium of living or nonliving material without absorption (loss of energy), no biological or photographic effects can occur. In true absorption the photons of radiation waves give up or transfer all of their energy to electrons within the atoms of the matter through which they are passing.
absorption tests
are used to assess absorptive function of the small intestine. Glucose, d-xylose and fats are substances administered orally and at timed intervals later measured in the blood. See also digestive absorption (above), fat absorption test.
References in periodicals archive ?
The effect of aging on percutaneous absorption in man.
Method for comparing percutaneous absorption of steroids.
A comparative study of the rates of in vitro percutaneous absorption of eight chemicals using rat and human skin.
It is important to research the oxidation rate of high-potency vitamin C as well as its percutaneous absorption and skin benefits, because L-ascorbic acid is irreversibly oxidized to diketogulonic acid, and then to threonic and oxalic acids.
A pilot study on the percutaneous absorption of microline titanium dioxide from sunscreens.
Changes in isotopic composition toward the contributing source but not in blood lead concentration were observed in some other studies on newborn infants (37) and percutaneous absorption of lead (38).
Through its Pharmaceutical division, Nipro is involved in the generic pharmaceutical industry with the sale of injection, oral and percutaneous absorption drugs.
Bucks stated, "We have state of the art equipment to do in vitro percutaneous absorption studies as part of the formulation optimization process.
In the context of percutaneous absorption, the well-known principle follows that molecules in solution move in a purely random fashion without charge and move within an electrical gradient.

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