The Transdermal Delivery Systems

Transdermal systems deliver drugs through the skin into the bloodstream. Medications delivered via skin patches avoid liver metabolism, a necessary feature for drug molecules to metabolize easily, and allows for lower dosing of medications. There are two types of transdermal delivery systems:

  • Passive – In passive transdermal systems, the drug diffuses through the skin via the process of osmosis where it can act locally or penetrate the capillaries for systemic effect. This technology is only effective with small molecule drugs such as in nicotine patches i.e. nicotine has a molecular weight of 162 Daltons versus 5,808 for insulin.
  • Active – In active transdermal systems, a physical force is used to facilitate the movement of drug molecules through the skin. By using an applied force (such as ultrasound), active transdermal systems are capable of delivering proteins and other large molecule formulations through the skin and into the blood stream at a speed unmatched by invasive systems such as micro needles and insulin pumps.
Stratum Corneum


The U-Strip – Ultrasonic Transdermal Drug Delivery

How the U-Strip Transdermal System Works


The U-Strip is an active transdermal delivery system. It uses alternating ultrasonic waveforms to enlarge the diameter of the skin’s pores enabling large molecule drugs to permeate through the skin (Stratum Corneum) into the dermis through the sweat pores and then into the blood stream, in effect creating a mechanized form of osmosis. Ultrasound Sawtooth Waveforms enlarge the pore size from 50 µm to 110 µm, to enable large molecules to penetrate the skin then Ultrasound Square Waveforms push the drug through the expanded pores into the dermis and into the blood stream. Unlike traditional ultrasound using sine waves, this does not create intense heating through cavitation.

Action Via Alternating WaveformsConfocal Image of Pore Expansion


The U-Wand - Ultrasonic Subdermal Skincare Product Delivery

How the U-Wand Subdermal Technology Works


The U-Wand uses the same technology as the U-Strip, however the timing of its waveforms have been adjusted to limit penetration to just underneath the skin and into the pores. The U-Wand uses alternating ultrasonic waveforms of variable intensity and frequency to enlarge the diameter of the skin’s pores. Ultrasound Sawtooth Waveforms enlarge the pores, and then Ultrasound Square Waveforms push the compound into the expanded pores in effect creating a mechanized form of osmosis.


Pore Expansion Visual and Dye Marker Penetration Test

In this test a blend containing hydrogel with a blue dye was deposited in a thin layer upon the skin’s outer surface. Next a U-Wand was placed over the dye and turned on for 1 minute. This photo of the skin section reveals spikes of the dye penetrating the pores of the skin.

Pore Expanding Action of Ultrasonic WavesDye Marker Penetration Test



Press on the player above for a visual demonstration of insulin (marked with a blue dye) being deposited into an expanded skin pore via U-Strip ultrasonic Appplication. Note skin pore expands to nearly twice it’s original size and the insulin is deposited in less than 3 seconds.