Minimally-invasive transepidermal potentiometry with microneedle salt bridge

Yuina Abe, Kuniaki Nagamine, Mayu Nakabayashi, Hiroyuki Kai, Hirokazu Kaji, Takeshi Yamauchi, Kenshi Yamasaki, Matsuhiko Nishizawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


A commercial painless microneedle was filled with physiological saline agar, and this needle-based salt bridge was inserted into the skin (a piece of porcine skin and a flank skin of a live mouse) to make an electrical contact with its subepidermal region. The transepidermal potential (TEP), the potential difference between the skin surface and the subepidermal region, was measured using this inner electrode and a conventional agar electrode on the surface of the skin. Control of penetration depth of the inner electrode with a spacer and hydrophilic pretreatment with ozone plasma were found to be necessary for stable measurement. The TEP was reduced upon damages on the skin surface by tape stripping and acetone defatting, which indicated the fabricated needle electrode is useful for the minimally-invasive measurement of TEP and evaluation of skin barrier functions. Furthermore, we showed that the device integrating two electrodes into a single compact probe was useful to evaluate the local barrier functions and their mapping on a skin. This device could be a personal diagnostic tool in the fields of medicine and cosmetics in future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number55
JournalBiomedical Microdevices
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 1


  • Barrier function
  • In-vivo
  • Painless needle
  • Transepidermal potential


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