Transdermal drug delivery using disk microneedle rollers in a hairless rat model


  • Funding: This study was supported by a grant from the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, South Korea (A090180).

  • Conflicts of interest: None.

Beom Joon Kim, md, PhD
Department of Dermatology
Chung-Ang University College of Medicine
Seoul 156–775
South Korea


Background  Transdermal drug delivery systems (TDDSs) represent more reliable and consistent methods of drug dosing than oral administration. However, TDDSs can administer only low molecular weight (MW) drugs and require a power source. Disk microneedle rollers facilitate the passage of low and high MW substances through the direct perforation of the stratum corneum and dermis, without stimulating dermal nerves.

Objectives  We investigated in vitro whether disk microneedle rollers, developed for the Diskneedle Therapy System (DTS™) in South Korea, can deliver drugs effectively through the skin of hairless rats.

Methods  The disk microneedle rollers used in the DTS™ are metal and consist of several plates bearing microneedles of graded lengths (0.15 mm, 0.25 mm, 0.50 mm). To test in vitro permeation, the skin of a hairless rat was mounted in a Franz diffusion cell system and rolled with a disk roller without microneedles and with rollers fitted with microneedles of each size. Rhodamine B base (80 μl) was applied to the skin for 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours, and dye permeation was detected at 543 nm. Dye binding to the skin was also confirmed using fluorescence microscopy at six hours after the application of rhodamine B.

Results  Use of the disk microneedle roller increased the skin penetrance of rhodamine B base in hairless rats in accordance with microneedle length, as assessed using a fluorescence penetration test.

Conclusions  Disk microneedle rollers, as designed for the DTS™, can be used for transdermal drug delivery. Microneedles can be selected according to the length appropriate for each application.