Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in final edited form as: Trends Biotechnol. 2019 November ; 37(11): 1175–1188. doi:10.1016/j.tibtech.2019.04.001



HHS Public Access Author manuscript Trends Biotechnol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2022 June 30.


Transdermal drug delivery systems have been successful for decades. Now these devices can be further scaled down, and their applications have been extended to wide selections of cargo, ranging from natural molecules (e.g., insulin and glucose) to bioengineered molecules (e.g., nanoparticles and vaccines). Some emerging nanopatches show promise for precise single-cell gene transfection in vivo and have advantages over conventional tools in terms of delivery efficiency, safety, and controllability of delivered dose. In this review, we discuss recent technical advances in wearable micro/nano devices with unique capabilities or potential for single-cell biosensing and transfection in the skin or other organs, and we suggest future directions for these fields.