Synergistic effect of iontophoresis and soluble microneedles for transdermal delivery of methotrexate


Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Mercer University, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA. E-mail:


The aim of this study was to investigate the transdermal iontophoretic delivery of methotrexate, alone or in combination with microneedles, in-vitro and in-vivo using intracutaneous microdialysis in the hairless rat. The average depth of the microdialysis probe in the skin was found to be 0.54 mm. Methotrexate was stable in the presence of an applied electric field as determined by cyclic voltammetry. A current density of 0.4 mA cm−2 applied for 60 min was used in combination with maltose microneedles to enhance delivery of methotrexate across the skin. Delivery was enhanced by iontophoresis and microneedles, both in-vitro and in-vivo. A synergistic 25-fold enhancement of delivery was observed in-vivo when a combination of microneedles and iontophoresis was used compared with either modality alone.