Transdermal electroosmotic flow generated by a porous microneedle array patch

Authors: Shinya Kusama, Kaito Sato, Yuuya Matsui, Natsumi Kimura, Hiroya Abe, Shotaro Yoshida, Matsuhiko Nishizawa


A microneedle array is an attractive option for a minimally invasive means to break through the skin barrier for efficient transdermal drug delivery. Here, we report the applications of solid polymer-based ion-conductive porous microneedles (PMN) containing interconnected micropores for improving iontophoresis, which is a technique of enhancing transdermal molecular transport by a direct current through the skin. The PMN modified with a charged hydrogel brings three innovative advantages in iontophoresis at once: (1) lowering the transdermal resistance by low-invasive puncture of the highly resistive stratum corneum, (2) transporting of larger molecules through the interconnected micropores, and (3) generating electroosmotic flow (EOF). In particular, the PMN-generated EOF greatly enhances the transdermal molecular penetration or extraction, similarly to the flow induced by external pressure. The enhanced efficiencies of the EOF-assisted delivery of a model drug (dextran) and of the extraction of glucose are demonstrated using a pig skin sample. Furthermore, the powering of the PMN-based transdermal EOF system by a built-in enzymatic biobattery (fructose / O2 battery) is also demonstrated as a possible totally organic iontophoresis patch.

Source: Nature Communications, 2021; 12 (1)