Transducer Design for an Ultrasound Enhanced Transdermal Drug Delivery System

N.B. Smith, R.J. Meyer, Jr., R.E. Newnham, and K.K. Shung (USA)


ultrasound, transducer, drug delivery, array, exposimetry


For application in a portable transdermal drug delivery system, novel transducers have been designed to enhance insulin transmission across skin using ultrasound. A probable mechanism for transdermal delivery of insulin is cavitation caused by the ultrasound within the outer layers of the skin. Previous research has shown transdermal delivery of insulin across skin using commercial sonicators operating at 20 kHz with intensities ranging from 12.5 to 225 mW/cm2. The goal of this research was to design and construct a small, light weight transducer or array which could operate with a similar frequency and intensity range as a commercial sonicator used in previous transdermal ultrasound insulin experiments but without the weight and mass of a sonicator device. To obtain this intensity range, a cymbal transducer design was chosen because of its light compact structure and low resonance frequency in water. To increase the spatial ultrasound field for drug delivery across skin, an array using four cymbal transducers was constructed. Under similar driving conditions, the standard array produced intensities comparable to that achieved using a commercial sonicator for drug delivery.

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