The article by Wildan Khairi Muhtadi

1st Year PhD Student at School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT97BL, UK



Prostate diseases are the prevalent urinary condition burdened by older men. Most  patients eventually seek medical help due to lower urinary tract symptoms such as nocturia, weak stream, insufficient bladder emptying, and infrequent urination, which are all caused by an ageing bladder (Bright & Abrams, 2010; Rodriguez-Nieves & Macoska, 2013). One of the prostatic issues is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), which is the main cause of lower urinary tract symptoms (Lepor, 2005). The proliferation of stromal and epithelial cells of the prostate situated in the transitional zone around the urethra marked the emergence of prostate enlargement in BPH (Roehrborn, 2008). The main problem of current prostate disorder therapies is that long-term treatment requires patient medication adherence. For instance, tamsulosin hydrochloride, the 1st line therapy of BPH, has to be taken orally for up to six weeks, therefore may potentially cause inconvenience for some patients. 

Transdermal drug delivery, a method of delivering drugs through the skin to blood circulation, can be the utmost key to solving the problem above mentioned problem. As the skin tissue covers a large area of the human body, it offers numerous advantages when utilized as the route of drug delivery. Transdermal drug delivery has attracted attention in the last two decades due to numerous advantages over conventional drug delivery methods, such as convenience, ability to be self-administered, and ease of storage conditions. (Alkilani et al., 2022; Ramadon et al., 2020). 

The main challenge of delivering the active compounds through the skin into the blood circulation is the presence of the stratum corneum, known as the outermost part of the skin that acts as the first barrier preventing any outside substances from penetrating the skin. Consequently, stratum corneum may limit drug absorption and further dwindle the effectiveness of the transdermal therapies (Ahmed Saeed AL-Japairai et al., 2020). The microneedle, a patch-like medical tool with attached micron-sized needles, is gaining popularity as the primary transdermal drug delivery method. Microneedle combines the technology of skin patches and conventional injection. It provides painless and non-invasive transdermal drug delivery, due to its ability to penetrate the stratum corneum barrier and deeper skin layer without contacting the dermal nerves and blood vessels (Donnelly, McCrudden, et al., 2014; Donnelly, Moffatt, et al., 2014; Kwon et al., 2017).

One type of microneedle is hydrogel-forming microneedles, which are produced through crosslinking of an aqueous mixture of polymers (Donnelly et al., 2012). This microneedle array type can absorb the interstitial fluid on the lower skin tissue, allowing drug diffusion from the reservoir layer to the dermal microcirculation and eventually reach the blood circulation (Donnelly, McCrudden, et al., 2014). In addition, hydrogel-forming microneedle shows good behaviours, as they can be removed from the skin intact without yielding any polymer deposition in the skin. Furthermore, when applied, hydrogel-forming microneedles are not blocked by compressed dermal tissue and can maintain drug loading capacity. After the microneedle is put off from the skin, the drug is deposited in the skin layer, thus providing a controlled release manner of drug and ultimately reduce the frequency of drug use  (Migdadi et al., 2018).

Based on the explanations provided above, there is a possibility of developing transdermal drug delivery as a new treatment method for prostate diseases, primarily using microneedles as the tool. The use of microneedle drug delivery offers several benefits for patients. First, it is a convenient medical treatment because the medication is applied through the skin surface into the prostate, eliminating the need for oral medication. Second, microneedle will be a painless medication, as it penetrates the skin without harming nervous glands in the deeper skin layer. Third, as patients with prostatic enlargement will no longer have difficulty urinating, this medication will improve their quality of life.


This article is an organisational knowledge asset with Doctrine UK’s registration number: 2023-04-11-Articles. Doctrine UK is not responsible for the views expressed in writing and those views are the sole responsibility of the author(s).