An integrated Mg battery-powered iontophoresis patch for efficient and controllable transdermal drug delivery

Publication Name

Nature Communications


Wearable transdermal iontophoresis eliminating the need for external power sources offers advantages for patient-comfort when deploying epidermal diseases treatments. However, current self-powered iontophoresis based on energy harvesters is limited to support efficient therapeutic administration over the long-term operation, owing to the low and inconsistent energy supply. Here we propose a simplified wearable iontophoresis patch with a built-in Mg battery for efficient and controllable transdermal delivery. This system decreases the system complexity and form factors by using viologen-based hydrogels as an integrated drug reservoir and cathode material, eliminating the conventional interface impedance between the electrode and drug reservoir. The redox-active polyelectrolyte hydrogel offers a high energy density of 3.57 mWh cm−2, and an optimal bioelectronic interface with ultra-soft nature and low tissue-interface impedance. The delivery dosage can be readily manipulated by tuning the viologen hydrogel and the iontophoresis stimulation mode. This iontophoresis patch demonstrates an effective treatment of an imiquimod-induced psoriasis mouse. Considering the advantages of being a reliable and efficient energy supply, simplified configuration, and optimal electrical skin-device interface, this battery-powered iontophoresis may provide a new non-invasive treatment for chronic epidermal diseases.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access





Article Number


Funding Number

CE 140100012

Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council



Link to publisher version (DOI)