, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 117-135

Dissolvable Microneedle Arrays for Intradermal Delivery of Biologics: Fabrication and Application

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ABSTRACT

Purpose

Design and evaluate a new micro-machining based approach for fabricating dissolvable microneedle arrays (MNAs) with diverse geometries and from different materials for dry delivery to skin microenvironments. The aims are to describe the new fabrication method, to evaluate geometric and material capability as well as reproducibility of the method, and to demonstrate the effectiveness of fabricated MNAs in delivering bioactive molecules.

Methods

Precise master molds were created using micromilling. Micromolding was used to create elastomer production molds from master molds. The dissolvable MNAs were then fabricated using the spin-casting method. Fabricated MNAs with different geometries were evaluated for reproducibility. MNAs from different materials were fabricated to show material capability. MNAs with embedded bioactive components were tested for functionality on human and mice skin.

Results

MNAs with different geometries and from carboxymethyl cellulose, polyvinyl pyrrolidone and maltodextrin were created reproducibly using our method. MNAs successfully pierce the skin, precisely deliver their bioactive cargo to skin and induce specific immunity in mice.

Conclusions

We demonstrated that the new fabrication approach enables creating dissolvable MNAs with diverse geometries and from different materials reproducibly. We also demonstrated the application of MNAs for precise and specific delivery of biomolecules to skin microenvironments in vitro and in vivo.