Abstract A postulated model for transdermal delivery using ion-exchange fibers as controlling device was designed, and the main objective of this study was to assess the rationality of the model. The release rates of ketoprofen from the carbopol-based gel vehicles containing ion-exchange fibers to which the ketoprofen had been bound have been determined across 0.22 μm microporous membrane. The fluctuation of the release rate of ketoprofen from the vehicles was much lower compared with that of simple gels, though the cumulative amount of ketoprofen delivery was less. Additional ions could increase the rate and extent of ketoprofen delivery. The iontophoretically assisted transport of ketoprofen across rat skin was also studied and found to be favorable to ketoprofen permeation. According to the tested model, the ion-layer could enhance the ketoprofen delivery and satisfactory results were achieved.