Each individual’s skin has its own features, such as strength, elasticity or permeability to drugs, which limits the effectiveness of one-size-fits-all approaches typically found in medical treatments. Therefore, understanding the transport mechanisms of substances across the skin is instrumental for the development of novel minimal invasive transdermal therapies. However, the large difference between transport timescales and length-scales of disparate molecules needed for medical therapies makes it difficult to address fundamental questions. Thus, this lack of fundamental knowledge has limited the efficacy of bioengineering equipment and medical treatments. In this article we provide an overview of the most important microfluidics-related transport phenomena through the skin and versatile tools to study them. Moreover, we provide a summary of challenges and opportunities faced by advanced transdermal delivery methods, such as needle-free jet injectors, microneedles and tattooing, which could pave the way to the implementation of better therapies and new methods.
- skin; transport; laser; needle-free