Transdermal drug delivery offers certain advantages over conventional oral or parenteral administration. However, the excellent barrier function of the skin, accomplished almost entirely by the stratum corneum, restricts the number of drug substances that can be administered transdermally to those with very specific physicochemical properties. Several approaches have been used to enhance the transport of drugs through the stratum corneum. However, in many cases, only moderate success has been achieved and each approach is associated with significant problems. Microstructured devices, consisting of a plurality of microprojections attached to a support, can be used to painlessly bypass the stratum corneum barrier and thus achieve successful transdermal delivery. Moreover, microprojection devices also enable minimally-invasive sampling and monitoring of biological fluids. Much activity is currently focussed in this area. Accordingly, this article deals with the innovations pertaining to microprojection-based devices for transdermal drug delivery and minimally-invasive monitoring as disclosed in recent patent literature.
Keywords: Transdermally, minimally-invasive, monitoring, microprojections, microblades, microneedles, iontophoresis
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