Send to

Choose Destination
Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2018 Jun;15(6):559-566. doi: 10.1080/17425247.2018.1472570. Epub 2018 May 23.

Needle-free cutaneous delivery of living human cells by Er:YAG fractional laser ablation.

Author information

a State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism, Sheng Yushou Center of Cell Biology and Immunology, Department of Genetics and Developmental Science, School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology , Shanghai Jiaotong University , Shanghai , China.
b School of Pharmaceutical Sciences , University of Geneva & University of Lausanne , Geneva , Switzerland.
c Glenmark Pharmaceuticals SA , La Chaux de Fond , Switzerland.



Dermatological diseases, including most skin cancers and rare genetic conditions frequently originate in the epidermis. Targeted, topical cell-based therapy is a promising therapeutic strategy. Here, we present the first report demonstrating that fractional laser ablation enables local 'needle-free' intraepidermal delivery of living human cells.


The cells penetrated porcine ear skin via microchannels created by Er:YAG fractional laser ablation; cell delivery was quantified using a haemocytometer. Cutaneous distribution was confirmed visually by laser scanning confocal microscopy and histological analysis.


Total cell delivery (sum of amounts permeated and deposited) after 24 h increased from 5.7 ± 0.1 x105 to 9.6 ± 1.6 x105 cells/cm2 when increasing pore density from 300 to 600 pores/cm2, - corresponding to 19- and 32-fold increases over the control. At 600 pores/cm2, cell deposition was 136-fold greater than cell permeation - the latter most likely due to transport from micropores into appendageal pathways. Production of GFP post-delivery confirmed cell remained viability.


The results demonstrate the feasibility of using controlled laser microporation to achieve local 'needle-free' cutaneous delivery of living human cells to the epidermis and dermis. This raises the possibility of using this technique for targeted new approaches for dermatological therapy in these regions.


Er:YAG laser; Topical delivery; cell therapy; epidermis; fractional laser ablation; living cells; skin

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center