Skin penetration-inducing gelatin methacryloyl nanogels for transdermal macromolecule delivery

Jeehye Kim, Robert Gauvin, Hee Jeong Yoon, Jin Hoi Kim, Sang Mo Kwon, Hyun Jin Park, Sang Hong Baek, Jae Min Cha, Hojae Bae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the suitability of gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) nanogels for transdermal delivery of macromolecules was demonstrated. The synthesis of GelMA nanogels (GNs) and fluorescein isothiocyanate labelled bovine serum albumin (FITC-BSA) loaded GelMA nanogels (FGNs) were implemented when confined in water-in-oil nanoemulsion droplets via the photopolymerization of the methacryloyl substituents to create crosslinked nanogels. Both GNs and FGNs existed as fine particles in aqueous condition (pH 7.4) for 7 days. No distinct aggregation of nanogel particles were observed. In the MTT assay, high percentage of cell viability indicated that GNs did not exhibit any growth inhibitory effect or significant cytotoxicity. The skin penetration study results showed that FGNs permeated across the epidermis and into the dermis of a porcine model when compared to the FITC-BSA dissolved in PBS. Possible penetration routes of FITC-BSA through the stratum corneum (SC) were illustrated by visualizing the SC structure with fluorescent signals of FITC-BSA. The penetration mechanism of FGNs across the SC layer was successfully demonstrated by explaining three penetration routes (intercellular, follicular, and transcellular route). The results suggest that GNs have a potential as a transdermal delivery carrier for hydrophilic macromolecules. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1125
Number of pages11
JournalMacromolecular Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, The Polymer Society of Korea and Springer Sciene+Business Media Dordrecht.


  • biodegradable polymers
  • intracellular protein delivery
  • nanogels
  • photocrosslinkable polymers
  • polymeric carrier
  • transdermal delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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