Advances in transdermal insulin delivery.


Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA; Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA; California NanoSystems Institute, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Center for Minimally Invasive Therapeutics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


Insulin therapy is necessary to regulate blood glucose levels for people with type 1 diabetes and commonly used in advanced type 2 diabetes. Although subcutaneous insulin administration via hypodermic injection or pump-mediated infusion is the standard route of insulin delivery, it may be associated with pain, needle phobia, and decreased adherence, as well as the risk of infection. Therefore, transdermal insulin delivery has been widely investigated as an attractive alternative to subcutaneous approaches for diabetes management in recent years. Transdermal systems designed to prevent insulin degradation and offer controlled, sustained release of insulin may be desirable for patients and lead to increased adherence and glycemic outcomes. A challenge for transdermal insulin delivery is the inefficient passive insulin absorption through the skin due to the large molecular weight of the protein drug. In this review, we focus on the different transdermal insulin delivery techniques and their respective advantages and limitations, including chemical enhancers-promoted, electrically enhanced, mechanical force-triggered, and microneedle-assisted methods.


Diabetes,Drug delivery,Electroporation,Insulin,Iontophoresis,Jet injection,Microneedle,Transdermal delivery,Ultrasound,