Transl Clin Pharmacol.  2017 Mar;25(1):15-20. 10.12793/tcp.2017.25.1.15.

Enhancement of skin permeation of vitamin C using vibrating microneedles

  • 1College of Pharmacy and Institute of Drug Research & Development, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, South Korea.
  • 2Department of Aeronautical Engineering, Hanseo University, 236-49 Gomseom-ro, Nam-myun, Taean-Gun, Chungnam-do 32158, South Korea.
  • 3Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, 1278-18 sa 1-dong, Sangnok-gu, Ansan, Gyeonggi 15585, South Korea.


This study was performed to evaluate the use of vibrating microneedles for the transdermal delivery of vitamin C. The microneedles were designed to vibrate at three levels of intensity. In vitro permeation by vitamin C was evaluated according to the specific conditions such as vibration intensity (levels 1, 2 and 3), application time (1, 3, 5, 7 and 10 min), and application power (500, 700 and 1,000 g). The highest permeation of vitamin C was observed at level 3 of vibration intensity, 5 min of application, and 1,000 g of application power. Vitamin C gel showed no cytotoxic effect against Pam212 cells or skin irritation effects. A pharmacokinetic study of the gel in rats was conducted under optimized conditions. The AUC₀-∞ and C(max) increased 1.35-fold and 1.44-fold, respectively, compared with those after vitamin C gel without application with vibrating microneedles. The present study suggests that vibrating microneedles can be used to facilitate the skin permeability of vitamin C under optimal conditions.


vibrating microneedles; vitamin C; permeation; pharmacokinetics

MeSH Terms

Ascorbic Acid*
In Vitro Techniques
Ascorbic Acid


  • Figure 1 The morphology of vibrating microneedles.

  • Figure 2 In vitro cumulative amount of vitamin C permeated (µg/cm2) through excised rat skin up to 24 h according to the vibration intensity, application power and application time. (A), vibration intensity; (B), application power; (C), application time. Data was expressed as mean ± S.D (n = 3).

  • Figure 3 Cell viability according to the concentration of vitamin C solution, blank gel or vitamin C gel against Pam212 cells.

  • Figure 4 Mean plasma concentration–time profiles of vitamin C from vitamin C gel in the presence or absence of pretreatment by vibrating microneedles. Data was expressed as mean ± S.D (n = 3).


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