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1. (WO2010129928) IONTOPHORETIC DEVICE WITH IMPROVED COUNTERELECTRODE
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WHAT IS CLAIMED:

1. An iontophoretic drug delivery device for delivering a drug into the tissue of a wearer, the device comprising: a base; a drug reservoir containing a supply of charged drug ions; a driving electrode positioned above the drug reservoir; a counterelectrode positioned below the drug reservoir opposite the driving electrode; a control circuit including a power source, the control circuit being coupled to the driving electrode and the counterelectrode and operable in a driving mode for applying a potential to the driving electrode of the same polarity as the charge of the charged drug ions and a potential of opposite polarity to the counterelectrode so as to drive the charged drug ions towards the tissue of the wearer.

2. An iontophoretic device according to claim 1, wherein the counterelectrode is also a barrier layer configured to essentially prevent passive transport of the charged drug ions therethrough.

3. An iontophoretic device according to claim 2, wherein said counterelectrode is a mesh.

4. An iontophoretic device according to claim 1, wherein said control circuit is switchable to a forced inactive mode wherein the control circuit applies a potential to the counterelectrode of the same polarity as the charge of the charged drug ions and a potential of opposite polarity to the driving electrode, thus transporting the drug ions away from the tissue of the wearer.

5. An iontophoretic device according to claim 4, wherein said control circuit is configured such that in said forced inactive mode the respective potentials are applied to the driving electrode and counterelectrode at predetermined intervals.

6. An iontophoretic device according to claim 2, wherein said control circuit is switchable to a forced inactive mode wherein the control circuit applies a potential to the counterelectrode of the same polarity as the charge of the charged drug ions and a potential of opposite polarity to the driving electrode, thus transporting the drug ions away from the tissue of the wearer.

7. An iontophoretic device according to claim 6, wherein said control circuit is configured such that in said forced inactive mode the respective potentials are applied to the driving electrode and counterelectrode at predetermined intervals.

8. An iontophoretic device according to claim 1, wherein said reservoir includes a gel comprising the charged drug ions.

9. An iontophoretic device according to claim 1, wherein said control circuit includes a microprocessor for controlling the application of potentials to the electrodes.

10. An iontophoretic device according to claim 1, wherein said drug reservoir is electroconductive to enable current to flow between the driving electrode and the counterelectrode, thus coupling the driving electrode and counterelectrode and providing a resistance therebetween.

11. An iontophoretic device according to claim 1, wherein said charged drug ions are selected from the group consisting of: elemental ions, molecular ions, and complexed ions.

12. An iontophoretic device according to claim 1, further comprising: an intermediate electrode positioned between the driving electrode and the counterelectrode within the drug reservoir, a first portion of the drug reservoir being located between the driving electrode and the intermediate electrode and a second portion of the drug reservoir being located between the intermediate electrode and the counterelectrode, the control circuit being coupled to the intermediate electrode and operable in the driving mode to apply a potential to the intermediate electrode between the potentials applied to the driving electrode and the counterelectrode so as to drive the charged drug ions from the first portion of the drug reservoir into the second portion of the drug reservoir and drive the charged drug ions in the second portion of the drug reservoir towards the tissue of the wearer.

13. An iontophoretic device according to claim 12, wherein said control circuit is switchable to a forced inactive mode wherein the control circuit at least applies a potential to the counterelectrode of the same polarity as the charge of the charged drug ions and a potential of opposite polarity to the driving electrode, thus transporting the drug ions away from the tissue of the wearer.

14. An iontophoretic device according to claim 13, wherein the control circuit is configured such that in said forced inactive mode the control circuit applies a potential to the intermediate electrode between the potentials applied to the driving electrode and the counterelectrode so as to transport the drug ions away from the tissue of the wearer and from the second portion of the drug reservoir to the first portion of the drug reservoir.

15. An iontophoretic device according to claim 12, wherein the control circuit is switchable to a forced inactive mode wherein the control circuit at least applies a potential to the counterelectrode of the same polarity as the charge of the charged drug ions and a potential of opposite polarity to the intermediate electrode, thus transporting the drug ions from the tissue of the wearer.

16. An iontophoretic device according to claim 12, wherein the control circuit is switchable to a forced inactive mode wherein the control circuit at least applies a potential to the intermediate electrode of the same polarity as the charge of the charged drug ions and a potential of opposite polarity to the driving electrode, thus transporting the drug ions in the first portion of the drug reservoir away from the second portion of the drug reservoir and the tissue of the wearer.

17. An iontophoretic device according to claim 12, wherein a spacing between the counterelectrode and the intermediate electrode is less than a spacing between the intermediate electrode and the driving electrode.

18. An iontophoretic device according to claim 13, wherein a spacing between the counterelectrode and the intermediate electrode is less than a spacing between the intermediate electrode and the driving electrode.

19. An iontophoretic device according to claim 14, wherein a spacing between the counterelectrode and the intermediate electrode is less than a spacing between the intermediate electrode and the driving electrode.

20. An iontophoretic device according to claim 15, wherein a spacing between the counterelectrode and the intermediate electrode is less than a spacing between the intermediate electrode and the driving electrode.

21. An iontophoretic device according to claim 16, wherein a spacing between the counterelectrode and the intermediate electrode is less than a spacing between the intermediate electrode and the driving electrode.

22. An iontophoretic device according to claim 13, wherein said control circuit is configured such that in said forced inactive mode the respective potentials are applied to the driving electrode and the counterelectrode of predetermined intervals.

23. An iontophoretic device according to claim 14, wherein said control circuit is configured such that in said forced inactive mode the respective potentials are applied to the driving electrode, the intermediate electrode and the counterelectrode at predetermined intervals.

24. An iontophoretic device according to claim 15, wherein said control circuit is configured such that in said forced inactive mode the respective potentials are applied to the counterelectrode and the intermediate electrode at predetermined intervals.

25. An iontophoretic device according to claim 16, wherein said control circuit is configured such that in said forced inactive mode the respective potentials are applied to the driving electrode and the intermediate electrode at predetermined intervals.

26. An iontophoretic device according to claim 12, wherein said reservoir includes a gel comprising the charged drug ions.

27. An iontophoretic device according to claim 12, wherein said control circuit includes a microprocessor for controlling the application of potentials to the electrodes.

28. An iontophoretic device according to claim 12, wherein said drug reservoir is electroconductive to enable current to flow between the electrodes, thus coupling the electrodes and providing a resistance therebetween.

29. An iontophoretic device according to claim 12, wherein said charged drug ions are selected from the group consisting of: elemental ions, molecular ions, and complexed ions.

30. An iontophoretic device according to claim 1, further comprising: an intermediate electrode positioned between the driving electrode and the counterelectrode within the drug reservoir, a first portion of the drug reservoir being located between the driving electrode and the intermediate electrode and a second portion of the drug reservoir being located between the intermediate electrode and the counterelectrode, the control circuit being coupled to the intermediate electrode and being switchable to a forced inactive mode wherein the control circuit applies a potential difference between the intermediate electrode and at least one of the driving electrode and the counterelectrode so as to transport the drug ions away from the tissue of the wearer.

31. An iontophoretic device according to claim 12, wherein the intermediate electrode is also a barrier layer configured to reduce passive transport of the charged drug ions from the first portion of the drug reservoir to the second portion of the drug reservoir.

32. An iontophoretic device according to claim 31, wherein the intermediate electrode has a hydrophobic characteristic.

33. An iontophoretic device according to claim 31, wherein the intermediate electrode is a membrane.

34. An iontophoretic device according to claim 12, wherein the counterelectrode is an open mesh that does not substantially interfere with transport of the drug ions.

35. A method for using an iontophoretic device for delivering a drug into the tissue of a wearer, the device comprising: (i) a base, (ii) a driving electrode positioned above the drug reservoir, (iii) a counterelectrode positioned below the drug reservoir opposite the driving electrode, (iv) a control circuit including a power source, the control circuit being coupled to the driving electrode and the counterelectrode, the method comprising operating the device in a driving mode by performing the acts comprising: applying, with the control circuit, a potential to the driving electrode of the same polarity as the charge of the charged drug ions; and applying, with the control circuit, a potential of opposite polarity to the counterelectrode; wherein the charged drug ions are driven towards the tissue of the wearer.

36. A method according to claim 35, further comprising operating the device in a forced inactive mode by performing the acts comprising: applying, with the control circuit, a potential to the counterelectrode of the same polarity as the charge of the charged drug ions, and applying, with the control circuit, a potential of opposite polarity to the driving electrode, wherein the drug ions are transported away from the tissue of the wearer.

37. A method according to claim 36, wherein said forced inactive mode said potentials are applied to the driving electrode and the counterelectrode at predetermined intervals.

38. A method according to claim 35, wherein the device further comprises an intermediate electrode positioned between the driving electrode and the counterelectrode within the drug reservoir, a first portion of the drug reservoir being located between the driving electrode and the intermediate electrode and a second portion of the drug reservoir being located between the intermediate electrode and the counterelectrode, the control circuit also being coupled to the intermediate electrode, wherein operating the device in the driving mode further comprises: applying, with the control circuit, a potential to the intermediate electrode between the potentials applied to the driving electrode and the counterelectrode so as to drive the charged drug ions from the first portion of the drug reservoir into the second portion of the drug reservoir and drive the charged drug ions from the second portion of the drug reservoir towards the tissue of the wearer.

39. A method according to claim 38, further comprising operating the device in a forced inactive mode by performing the acts comprising: applying, with the control circuit, a potential to the counterelectrode of the same polarity as the charge of the charged drug ions, applying, with the control circuit, a potential of opposite polarity to the driving electrode, and applying, with the control circuit, a potential to the intermediate electrode between the potentials applied to the driving electrode and the counterelectrode, wherein the charged drug ions are transported away from the tissue of the wearer and from the second portion of the drug reservoir to the first portion of the drug reservoir.

40. An iontophoretic drug delivery device for delivering a drug into the tissue of a wearer, the device comprising: a base; a drug reservoir comprising a supply of charged drug ions; a driving electrode; a counterelectrode; and a control circuit including a power source, the control circuit being coupled to the driving electrode and the counterelectrode, and being operable to apply a potential of the same polarity as the charge of the charged drug ions to the driving electrode and a potential of opposite polarity to the counterelectrode; the driving electrode and the counterelectrode being (a) coupled with a resistance therebetween such that current is enabled to flow between the driving electrode and the counterelectrode only within the device, and (b) positioned with respect to said drug reservoir such that application of the respective potentials thereto in the driving mode of said control circuit drives the charged drug ions towards the tissue of the wearer.

41. An iontophoretic device according to claim 40, wherein the driving electrode is positioned above the drug reservoir and the counterelectrode is positioned below the drug reservoir opposite the driving electrode.

42. An iontophoretic device according to claim 40, wherein the counterelectrode is also a barrier layer configured to essentially prevent passive transport of the charged drug ions therethrough.

43. An iontophoretic device according to claim 42, wherein said counterelectrode is a mesh.

44. An iontophoretic device according to claim 40, wherein said control circuit is switchable to a forced inactive mode wherein the control circuit applies a potential to the counterelectrode of the same polarity as the charge of the charged drug ions and a potential of opposite polarity to the driving electrode, thus transporting the drug ions away from the tissue of the wearer.

45. An iontophoretic device according to claim 44, wherein said control circuit is configured such that in said forced inactive mode the respective potentials are applied to the driving electrode and counterelectrode at predetermined intervals.

46. An iontophoretic device according to claim 42, wherein said control circuit is switchable to a forced inactive mode wherein the control circuit applies a potential to the counterelectrode of the same polarity as the charge of the charged drug ions and a potential of opposite polarity to the driving electrode, thus transporting the drug ions away from the tissue of the wearer.

47. An iontophoretic device according to claim 46, wherein said control circuit is configured such that in said forced inactive mode the respective potentials are applied to the driving electrode and counterelectrode at predetermined intervals.

48. An iontophoretic device according to claim 40, wherein said reservoir includes a gel comprising the charged drug ions.

49. An iontophoretic device according to claim 40, wherein said control circuit includes a microprocessor for controlling the application of potentials to the electrodes.

50. An iontophoretic device according to claim 40, wherein said charged drug ions are selected from the group consisting of: elemental ions, molecular ions, and complexed ions.

51. An iontophoretic device according to claim 40, further comprising: an intermediate electrode positioned between the driving electrode and the counterelectrode within the drug reservoir, a first portion of the drug reservoir being located between the driving electrode and the intermediate electrode and a second portion of the drug reservoir being located between the intermediate electrode and the counterelectrode, the control circuit being coupled to the intermediate electrode and operable in the driving mode to apply a potential to the intermediate electrode between the potentials applied to the driving electrode and the counterelectrode so as to drive the charged drug ions from the first portion of the drug reservoir into the second portion of the drug reservoir and drive the charged drug ions in the second portion of the drug reservoir towards the tissue of the wearer.

52. An iontophoretic device according to claim 51, wherein said control circuit is switchable to a forced inactive mode wherein the control circuit at least applies a potential to the counterelectrode of the same polarity as the charge of the charged drug ions and a potential of opposite polarity to the driving electrode, thus transporting the drug ions away from the tissue of the wearer.

53. An iontophoretic device according to claim 52, wherein the control circuit is configured such that in said forced inactive mode the control circuit applies a potential to the intermediate electrode between the potentials applied to the driving electrode and the counterelectrode so as to transport the drug ions away from the tissue of the wearer and from the second portion of the drug reservoir to the first portion of the drug reservoir.

54. An iontophoretic device according to claim 51, wherein the control circuit is switchable to a forced inactive mode wherein the control circuit at least applies a potential to the counterelectrode of the same polarity as the charge of the charged drug ions and a potential of opposite polarity to the intermediate electrode, thus transporting the drug ions from the tissue of the wearer.

55. An iontophoretic device according to claim 51, wherein the control circuit is switchable to a forced inactive mode wherein the control circuit at least applies a potential to the intermediate electrode of the same polarity as the charge of the charged drug ions and a potential of opposite polarity to the driving electrode, thus transporting the drug ions in the first portion of the drug reservoir away from the second portion of the drug reservoir and the tissue of the wearer.

56. An iontophoretic device according to claim 51, wherein a spacing between the counterelectrode and the intermediate electrode is less than a spacing between the intermediate electrode and the driving electrode.

57. An iontophoretic device according to claim 52, wherein a spacing between the counterelectrode and the intermediate electrode is less than a spacing between the intermediate electrode and the driving electrode.

58. An iontophoretic device according to claim 53, wherein a spacing between the counterelectrode and the intermediate electrode is less than a spacing between the intermediate electrode and the driving electrode.

59. An iontophoretic device according to claim 54, wherein a spacing between the counterelectrode and the intermediate electrode is less than a spacing between the intermediate electrode and the driving electrode.

60. An iontophoretic device according to claim 55, wherein a spacing between the counterelectrode and the intermediate electrode is less than a spacing between the intermediate electrode and the driving electrode.

61. An iontophoretic device according to claim 52, wherein said control circuit is configured such that in said forced inactive mode the respective potentials are applied to the driving electrode and the counterelectrode of predetermined intervals.

62. An iontophoretic device according to claim 53, wherein said control circuit is configured such that in said forced inactive mode the respective potentials are applied to the driving electrode, the intermediate electrode and the counterelectrode at predetermined intervals.

63. An iontophoretic device according to claim 54, wherein said control circuit is configured such that in said forced inactive mode the respective potentials are applied to the counterelectrode and the intermediate electrode at predetermined intervals.

64. An iontophoretic device according to claim 55, wherein said control circuit is configured such that in said forced inactive mode the respective potentials are applied to the driving electrode and the intermediate electrode at predetermined intervals.

65. An iontophoretic device according to claim 51, wherein said reservoir includes a gel comprising the charged drug ions.

66. An iontophoretic device according to claim 51, wherein said control circuit includes a microprocessor for controlling the application of potentials to the electrodes.

67. An iontophoretic device according to claim 51, wherein said charged drug ions are selected from the group consisting of: elemental ions, molecular ions, and complexed ions.

68. An iontophoretic device according to claim 40, further comprising: an intermediate electrode positioned between the driving electrode and the counterelectrode within the drug reservoir, a first portion of the drug reservoir being located between the driving electrode and the intermediate electrode and a second portion of the drug reservoir being located between the intermediate electrode and the counterelectrode, the control circuit being coupled to the intermediate electrode and being switchable to a forced inactive mode wherein the control circuit applies a potential difference between the intermediate electrode and at least one of the driving electrode and the counterelectrode so as to transport the drug ions away from the tissue of the wearer.

69. An iontophoretic device according to claim 51, wherein the intermediate electrode is also a barrier layer configured to reduce passive transport of the charged drug ions from the first portion of the drug reservoir to the second portion of the drug reservoir.

70. An iontophoretic device according to claim 69, wherein the intermediate electrode has a hydrophobic characteristic.

71. An iontophoretic device according to claim 69, wherein the intermediate electrode is a membrane.

72. An iontophoretic device according to claim 51, wherein the counterelectrode is an open mesh that does not substantially interfere with transport of the drug ions.