Background: Dissolving microneedles (DMNs), microscale needles with a biodegradable polymer matrix, have been widely investigated for transdermal drug delivery. However, the restricted drug loading space of DMNs limited the delivery of the desired quantity of active compounds. In this study, we developed novel combinatorial therapies involving sequential application of adenosine-loaded DMN (Ad-DMN) patches and a topical adenosine-loaded cream (Ad-cream). The application of DMNs created skin channels, which delivered encapsulated drugs from both the DMNs and cream. The use of combinatorial therapies can maximize drug delivery. Methods: To compare the efficacy of combinatorial therapies and Ad-cream application, a double-blind clinical test was conducted over 10 weeks on 21 females with wrinkles around their eyes, and the skin parameters such as wrinkles, dermal density, elasticity, and hydration were analyzed. The skin irritation test was assessed by expert interviewers to elucidate undesirable side effects. Results: The combinatorial therapies showed statistically significant efficacy for the improvement of average depth of wrinkles, dermal density, elasticity, and hydration after an 8-week application (P < 0.001). Adverse effects on the skin were not observed in any subject during the test period. Conclusion: The efficacy and safety results showed that the combinatorial therapies were a safe and outstanding innovation for the optimization of transdermal therapy.
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