Paediatricians’ opinions of microneedle-mediated monitoring: a key stage in the translation of microneedle technology from laboratory into clinical practice
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Microneedle (MN) arrays could offer an alternative method to traditional drug delivery and blood sampling methods. However, acceptance among key end-users is critical for new technologies to succeed. MNs have been advocated for use in children and so, paediatricians are key potential end-users. However, the opinions of paediatricians on MN use have been previously unexplored. The aim of this study was to investigate the views of UK paediatricians on the use of MN technology within neonatal and paediatric care. An online survey was developed and distributed among UK paediatricians to gain their opinions of MN technology and its use in the neonatal and paediatric care settings, particularly for MN-mediated monitoring. A total of 145 responses were obtained, with a completion response rate of 13.7 %. Respondents believed an alternative monitoring technique to blood sampling in children was required. Furthermore, 83 % of paediatricians believed there was a particular need in premature neonates. Overall, this potential end-user group approved of the MN technology and a MN-mediated monitoring approach. Minimal pain and the perceived ease of use were important elements in gaining favour. Concerns included the need for confirmation of correct application and the potential for skin irritation. The findings of this study provide an initial indication of MN acceptability among a key potential end-user group. Furthermore, the concerns identified present a challenge to those working within the MN field to provide solutions to further improve this technology. The work strengthens the rationale behind MN technology and facilitates the translation of MN technology from lab bench into the clinical setting.
KeywordsMicroneedle Paediatrician Opinions Children Neonates Monitoring Minimally invasive
We wish to acknowledge Dr David Sweet, Consultant Neonatologist and member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, for his assistance with this work. We also recognise Dr TM Tuan-Mahmood, for her assistance with the ethical application and survey preparation. Also to our colleagues in the Children’s Medicines Research Group, Queen’s University Belfast, who piloted this survey, prior to distribution.
This work was granted approval by the Ethical committee, School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast (012PMY2012).
Conflict of interest
Ryan Donnelly is a named inventor on a patent application related tohydrogel-forming microneedle arrays (details below). He is working with a number of companies with a view to commercialisation of this technology. He provides advice, through consultancy, to these companies. This does not alter our adherence to Drug Delivery & Translational Research policies onsharing data and materials. None of the other authors have any competing interests.
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