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

Emiliano Maione, K. Kirk Shung, Richard J. Meyer, Jack W. Hughes, Robert E. Newnham, Nadine Barrie Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


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/cm 2. 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 arrays 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1430-1436
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Transducer design for a portable ultrasound enhanced transdermal drug-delivery system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this