Permeability enhancement for transdermal delivery of large molecule using low-frequency sonophoresis combined with microneedles

2014-03-26T14:30:05Z (GMT) by Tao Han Diganta Das
Transdermal drug delivery is limited by the high resistance of skin towards diffusion of high-molecular-weight drugs. This is mainly because of the fact that the outer layer of the skin, that is the stratum corneum, can prevent diffusion of molecules whose molecular weight is greater than 500 Da. Sonophoresis can be used to enhance the permeability of the skin. However, in the delivery of large molecules, ultrasound alone cannot provide sufficient permeability enhancement. In addressing this issue, we propose optimised ultrasound combined with microneedles to further increase the permeation rates. In this paper, we use porcine ear skin to simulate human skin and treat the skin samples with both ultrasound and microneedles. Further, bovine serum albumin (BSA) is used as a model of larger molecular weight molecule. Our results show that the permeability of BSA is increased to 1 μm/s with the combination of 1.5 mm microneedles patch and 15-W ultrasound output which is about 10 times higher than the permeability obtained in passive diffusion. Diffusion with only microneedles or ultrasound pre-treatment is also tested. The maximum permeability from microneedles and ultrasound treatment reached 0.43 and 0.4 μm/s, respectively.