Transdermal drug delivery (TDD) is limited by high resistance of the outer layer of the skin, namely stratum corneum which blocks any molecule that is larger than 500 Da. Research on TDD has become very active in recent years and various technologies have been developed to overcome the resistance of the stratum corneum. In particular, researchers have started to consider the possibility of combining the TDD technologies in order to achieve further increment for drug permeability. Microneedles (MNs) and sonophoresis are both promising technologies that can perform notable enhancement in drug permeation via different mechanisms and therefore give a good potential for combining with each other. We discuss the possible ways to achieve this combination as well as how this combination would increase the permeability. Some of the undeveloped (weaker) research areas of MNs and sonophoresis are also discussed in order to understand the true potential of combining the two technologies when they are developed further in the future. We propose several hypothetical combinations based on the possible mechanisms of MNs and sonophoresis. [Continues.]
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.