Ultrasound-Enhanced Transdermal Delivery of Nanoparticles

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



The development of new methods for drug and vaccine delivery is of paramount importance in the field of biomedical research. For the last 20 years there has been an increased interest in the production of small scale particles that can be functionalized to deliver biomolecules to specific tissues. The skin is a target organ for vaccine and drug preparations due to its accessibility, surface area and its constant surveillance by cells of the immune system. Low-frequency ultrasound has been shown to augment skin permeability, but little is known about the efficacy of this method in facilitating the delivery of nanoparticles in vivo. Our objective was to improve the transdermal delivery of bioactive agents contained in nanoparticles with the use ultrasound. An ultrasound protocol was designed to expose the tissue without inducing adverse effects. A 2.5MHz immersion transducer was experimentally characterized using a hydrophone. A Tektronix arbitrary function generator was programmed to excite the transducer with bursts of 800mVp-p, 40µs duration sinusoidal signals consisting of 100 cycles at 1ms intervals, with pulse repetition frequency of 1KHz. Exposure pressure and intensity were experimentally determined to be within safety levels. For in vitro experiments, skin explants were canvased on custom-made Franz cells, and permeability was measured after exposure to ultrasound using the HRP-TMB enzyme/substrate system. For in vivo experiments, mice were anesthetized and a suspension of quantum dots in glycerol was applied after exposure to ultrasound. Our results indicate that ultrasound is a promising tool in the enhancement of drug and vaccine delivery through the skin.


Presented at the Rochester Academy of Science Fall Annual Scientific Paper Session at Nazareth College on November 9, 2013.

This document is currently not available here.

Additional Files