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Simultaneous transdermal extraction of glucose and lactate from human subjects by reverse iontophoresis

Authors Tak S Ching, Patricia Connolly

Published 6 June 2008 Volume 2008:3(2) Pages 211—223


Tak S Ching1, Patricia Connolly2

1Asia University, Taiwan; 2Bioengineering Unit, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Abstract: This study investigated the possibility of simultaneously extracting glucose and lactate from human subjects, at the same skin location, using transdermal reverse iontophoresis. Transdermal monitoring using iontophoresis is made possible by the skin’s permeability to small molecules and the nanoporous and microporous nature of the structure of skin. The study was intended to provide information which could be used to develop a full, biosensor-based, monitoring system for multiple parameters from transdermal extraction. As a precursor to the human study, in vitro reverse iontophoresis experiments were performed in an artificial skin system to establish the optimum current waveforms to be applied during iontophoresis. In the human study, a bipolar DC current waveform (with reversal of the electrode current direction every 15 minutes) was applied to ten healthy volunteers via skin electrodes and utilized for simultaneous glucose and lactate transdermal extraction at an applied current density of 300 µA/cm2. Glucose and lactate were successfully extracted through each subject’s skin into the conducting gel that formed part of each iontophoresis electrode. The results suggest that it will be possible to noninvasively and simultaneously monitor glucose and lactate levels in patients using this approach and this could have future applications in diagnostic monitoring for a variety of medical conditions.

Keywords: transdermal, iontophoresis, glucose, lactate, diagnostic monitoring

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