Biomedical Microdevices

, 20:100 | Cite as

Effect of dosing regimen and microneedle pretreatment on in vitro skin retention of topically applied beta-blockers

  • Megan N. Kelchen
  • Nicole K. BrogdenEmail author
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Biomedical MicroNeedles


Topical beta-blocker formulations are commonly used to treat infantile hemangiomas (IHs); however, the skin concentrations and drug permeation through the skin have not been quantified. Microneedles (MNs) may increase local skin concentrations, which could further enhance lesion clearance and improve dosing regimens. The objective of this study was to quantify skin concentrations and drug permeation of two beta-blockers, propranolol and timolol, in vitro after application to intact skin and skin pretreated with solid MNs of two lengths. Propranolol skin concentrations and drug permeation were significantly higher than timolol skin concentrations for all study conditions, which is likely due to the lipophilic nature of propranolol compared to the hydrophilicity of timolol. Propranolol skin concentrations were significantly influenced by dosing regimen, as skin concentrations increased with increasing drug application. Pretreatment of the skin with solid 250 μm and 500 μm length MNs increased local skin concentrations of timolol; propranolol skin concentrations did not significantly increase after MN pretreatment. Propranolol and timolol permeation through the skin increased after MN pretreatment with both MN lengths for both compounds. Taken together, solid MN pretreatment prior to application of topical timolol may be beneficial for deep or mixed IHs upon further optimization of the MN treatment paradigm.


Microneedle Beta-blocker Propranolol Timolol Infantile hemangioma 



Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R35GM124551.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical Science and Experimental TherapeuticsUniversity of Iowa College of PharmacyIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyUniversity of Iowa Carver College of MedicineIowa CityUSA

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