Microporation Techniques for Enhanced Delivery of Therapeutic Agents

Raj Singh Thakur, Corona Cassidy, Katarzyna Migalska, Yusuf Demir, David Woolfson, M.J. Garland, S. Abdelghany, E. Ryan, Ryan Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Perhaps the greatest barrier to development of the field of transmembrane drug delivery is that only a limited number of drugs are amenable to administration by this route. The highly lipophilic nature and barrier function of the uppermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, for example, restricts the permeation of hydrophilic, high molecular weight and charged compounds into the systemic circulation. Other membranes in the human body can also present significant barriers to drug permeation. In order to successfully deliver hydrophilic drugs, and macromolecular agents of interest, including peptides, DNA and small interfering RNA, many research groups and pharmaceutical companies Worldwide are focusing on the use of microporation methods and devices. Whilst there are a variety of microporation techniques, including the use of laser, thermal ablation, electroporation, radiofrequency, ultrasound, high pressure jets, and microneedle technology, they share the common goal of enhancing the permeability of a biological membrane through the creation of transient aqueous transport pathways of micron dimensions across that membrane. Once created, these micropores are orders of magnitude larger than molecular dimensions and, therefore, should readily permit the transport of hydrophilic macromolecules. Additionally, microporation devices also enable minimally-invasive sampling and monitoring of biological fluids. This review deals with the innovations relating to microporation-based methods and devices for drug delivery and minimally invasive monitoring, as disclosed in recent patent literature. © 2010 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalRecent Patents on Drug Delivery & Formulation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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