Reverse iontophoresis for non-invasive transdermal monitoring

Physiol Meas. 2004 Jun;25(3):R35-50. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/25/3/r01.


Iontophoresis is the application of a small electric current to enhance the transport of both charged and polar, neutral compounds across the skin. Manipulation of either the total charge delivered and/or certain electrode formulation parameters allows control of electromigration and electroosmosis, the two principal mechanisms of transdermal iontophoresis. While the approach has been mainly used for transdermal drug delivery, 'reverse iontophoresis', by which substances are extracted to the skin surface, has recently been the subject of considerable effort. Glucose monitoring has been extensively studied and other applications, including therapeutic drug monitoring, are contributing to the development of the technique. An internal standard calibration procedure may ultimately render this novel monitoring technique completely non-invasive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Drug Monitoring / methods*
  • Humans
  • Iontophoresis / methods*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / blood*
  • Skin / blood supply*
  • Skin / metabolism*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations