Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology
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In Silico Bioelectromagnetics
Electroporation Theory
Magnetic Field Effects
Weak Field Effects
Microconduit Creation
Skin Electroporation

Microconduits in Stratum Corneum

Microconduit in SC created by treatment with a keratolytic agent. Top left shows the microconduit (outlined by the white circle). Top right shows the fluorescent micrograph of the skin with the dye concentrated in the microconduit. The bottom row shows the concentration of charged fluorescent beads in the microconduit

Controlled transport of molecules across the skin's main barrier, the stratum corneum (SC), is a long standing goal of transdermal drug delivery. Traditional, needle-based injection provides delivery of almost any water soluble compound, by creating a single large aqueous pathway in the form of the hollow core of a needle, through which drug is delivered by pressure-driven flow. We have extended our previous work to show that SC-spanning microconduits (here diameters of about 170 um) can be created by skin electroporation and low toxicity, keratin disrupting molecules (here sodium thiosulfate and urea). A single microconduit in isolated SC can support volumetric flow of order 0.01 ml/s by a pressure difference of only 0.01 atm, demonstrating that the SC barrier has been completely removed within this microscopic area.