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Electromotive Drug Delivery System

Delivers Macromolecular Drugs through the Skin into Targeted Tissues with Minimal Damage

This electromotive apparatus allows physicians to deliver macromolecules into tissue of a patient without life-threating side-effects. Macromolecular drugs hold great promise as therapeutic agents for a variety of diseases and disorders. However, contemporary methods for macromolecular drug delivery have been limited due to both the size of macromolecules and the lack of a safe and efficient transdermal delivery method. Iontophoresis is a non-invasive method of delivering ionic therapeutic agents through the skin, using a low-level electric current. This process dates back to the early 1900s, but until now, scientists have not understood it enough for safe and efficacious macromolecular drug delivery.

Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a method and device which can generate a large enough electric field to deliver optimal doses of macromolecules into any tissue, cell, membrane, or anatomical structure. Target tissues include, but are not limited to: corneas, skin, hair, finger or toe nails, and internal tissues. As transdermal messengers, these therapeutic macromolecules provide a primary advantage to the patient as it travels without destroying the tissue itself.



Electromotive delivery of molecular biological agents into intact internal and external tissues



  • Delivers macromolecular drugs transdermally without causing significant tissue damage, providing a major competitive advantage over conventional methods
  • Utilizes electrodes with a buffering agent, allowing for a higher applied electric current necessary for the delivery of macromolecules
  • Decreases the distance therapeutic agents must travel to reach tissue, reducing delivery time
  • Prevents macromolecular drugs from being reduced or oxidized by electrode, eliminating risk of molecular modifications and unexpected side effects
  • Targets the advancing field of macromolecular drug therapy, providing pharmaceutical companies with a profitable medical therapeutic platform


Carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids are the four macromolecules used in the body’s cells for both structural and functional support. The full therapeutic potential of macromolecular drugs for treatment of congenital defects and viral infections depends on a safe and reliable delivery system to transport these macromolecules to their targeted locations. Iontophoresis shows a great deal of promise for the delivery of such drugs to damaged and diseased tissue transdermally, in an effective and non-invasive way. In Iontophoresis, electromotive force applied by electrodes to a delivery solution drives highly charged macromolecule drugs from an external solution into tissue through the skin. The danger of serious damage to tissues as a result of byproducts of the process, however, has prevented any practical application of iontophroresis. Caustic byproducts of electrolysis represent the main threat to tissue, and can cause catastrophic destruction to the body. This apparatus uses a buffering agent to separate the electrodes which deliver electromotive force from the body and drug. This buffering agent neutralizes the caustic byproducts of electrolysis, without negatively affecting the delivery of the macromolecular drug. In this way, iontophoresis delivers therapeutic treatment safely and effectively.

Read more in a related study by this inventor

Patent Information:
App Type: Patent No.: Patent Status:
ORD/UTIL 8,838,229 Issued