Microfabricated Microneedles for Gene and Drug Delivery

We present progress in microneedle research for gene and drug delivery in the context of three broad applications: cellular delivery, local delivery, and systemic delivery

Devin V. McAllister; Mark G. Allen; Mark R. Prausnitz

2002

Scholarcy highlights

  • For over 150 years, syringes and hypodermic needles have been delivering drugs into patients
  • The needle's impact as a drug delivery vehicle is still strong today, partly because many pharmaceuticals are poorly absorbed in the intestine and/or sensitive to enzymatic degradation and cannot be administered orally
  • We present progress in microneedle research for gene and drug delivery in the context of three broad applications: cellular delivery, local delivery, and systemic delivery
  • Microfabrication technology has made possible the creation of microscopic devices that can be used for a broad range of biological applications
  • One compelling application described here is microneedles, which have been fabricated by using a variety of microfabrication techniques and have been shown to deliver genes and drugs into cells, local regions of tissue, and across the skin
  • Optimal microneedle designs appear to be those that are hollow, because this permits better controlled delivery; made out of materials other than the industry standard silicon because materials such as metal or polysilicon are less expensive, stronger, and/or proven to be biocompatible; and manufactured by micromolding techniques, because this approach is likely to be less expensive for mass production

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