Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 41–57

Design, Optimization and Characterisation of Polymeric Microneedle Arrays Prepared by a Novel Laser-Based Micromoulding Technique

Authors

    • School of PharmacyQueen’s University Belfast Medical Biology Centre
  • Rita Majithiya
    • School of PharmacyQueen’s University Belfast Medical Biology Centre
  • Thakur Raghu Raj Singh
    • School of PharmacyQueen’s University Belfast Medical Biology Centre
  • Desmond I. J. Morrow
    • School of PharmacyQueen’s University Belfast Medical Biology Centre
  • Martin J. Garland
    • School of PharmacyQueen’s University Belfast Medical Biology Centre
  • Yusuf K. Demir
    • School of PharmacyQueen’s University Belfast Medical Biology Centre
  • Katarzyna Migalska
    • School of PharmacyQueen’s University Belfast Medical Biology Centre
  • Elizabeth Ryan
    • School of PharmacyQueen’s University Belfast Medical Biology Centre
  • David Gillen
    • Blue Acre Technology
  • Christopher J. Scott
    • School of PharmacyQueen’s University Belfast Medical Biology Centre
  • A. David Woolfson
    • School of PharmacyQueen’s University Belfast Medical Biology Centre
Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11095-010-0169-8

Cite this article as:
Donnelly, R.F., Majithiya, R., Singh, T.R.R. et al. Pharm Res (2011) 28: 41. doi:10.1007/s11095-010-0169-8

ABSTRACT

Purpose

Design and evaluation of a novel laser-based method for micromoulding of microneedle arrays from polymeric materials under ambient conditions. The aim of this study was to optimise polymeric composition and assess the performance of microneedle devices that possess different geometries.

Methods

A range of microneedle geometries was engineered into silicone micromoulds, and their physicochemical features were subsequently characterised.

Results

Microneedles micromoulded from 20% w/w aqueous blends of the mucoadhesive copolymer Gantrez® AN-139 were surprisingly found to possess superior physical strength than those produced from commonly used pharma polymers. Gantrez® AN-139 microneedles, 600 μm and 900 μm in height, penetrated neonatal porcine skin with low application forces (>0.03 N per microneedle). When theophylline was loaded into 600 μm microneedles, 83% of the incorporated drug was delivered across neonatal porcine skin over 24 h. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) showed that drug-free 600 μm Gantrez® AN-139 microneedles punctured the stratum corneum barrier of human skin in vivo and extended approximately 460 µm into the skin. However, the entirety of the microneedle lengths was not inserted.

Conclusion

In this study, we have shown that a novel laser engineering method can be used in micromoulding of polymeric microneedle arrays. We are currently carrying out an extensive OCT-informed study investigating the influence of microneedle array geometry on skin penetration depth, with a view to enhanced transdermal drug delivery from optimised laser-engineered Gantrez® AN-139 microneedles.

KEY WORDS

laser engineeringmicroneedlesoptical coherence tomographytransdermal drug delivery

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010