Microneedle approach for skin as drug penetration enhancer

Pravin Gupta, Manish Kumar


The limitation of oral drug delivery and the pain related with the use of needles
in case of injections, drug delivery research has tremendously oriented
towards the transdermal route. The success of transdermal drug delivery has
been severely limited by the inability of most drugs to enter the skin at
therapeutically useful rates. The novel microneedle dual-delivery method
combines the advantages of hypodermic syringes and transdermal patches.
Microneedles have been used to deliver a broad range of different low
molecular weight drugs, biotherapeutics and vaccines, including human
studies with a number of small-molecule and protein drugs and vaccines.
Influenza vaccination using a hollow microneedle is in widespread clinical use
and a number of solid microneedle products are sold for cosmetic purposes. In
addition to applications in the skin, microneedles have also been adapted for
delivery of bioactives into the eye and into cells. Arrays of microneedles that
are 100-1000 ?m in length poke through the top layers of skin and allow
micron-scale drugs to pass into the body. The needles are too small to
stimulate nerve endings; patients wouldn't feel any pain when a microneedle
injection is performed. This review gives an overview of microneedles for drug
delivery applications.

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