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Transducer design for a portable ultrasound enhanced transdermal drug-delivery system.

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Encapsulation Systems Inc., Broomall, PA. 19008, USA.


For application in a portable transdermal drug-delivery system, novel transducers have been designed to enhance insulin transmission across skin using ultrasound. 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, lightweight transducer or array that 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 probe. 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, two arrays, each comprising of four cymbal transducers, were constructed. The first array, designated the standard array, used four cymbals transducer elements in parallel. A second array (named the stack array) used four cymbal transducers that used stacked piezoelectric discs to drive the titanium flextensional caps. Under similar driving conditions, the standard array produced intensities comparable to those achieved using a commercial sonicator.

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