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Technology update: dissolvable microneedle patches for vaccine delivery

Authors Rodgers AM, Cordeiro AS, Donnelly RF

Received 17 April 2019

Accepted for publication 8 August 2019

Published 19 September 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 379—398

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/MDER.S198220

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Melinda Thomas

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Aoife M Rodgers, Ana Sara Cordeiro, Ryan F Donnelly

School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, BT9 7BL, UK

Correspondence: Ryan F Donnelly
School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast, Medical Biology Centre, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK
Tel +44 289 097 2251
Fax +44 289 024 7794
Email r.donnelly@qub.ac.uk

Abstract: Despite vaccination representing one of the greatest advances of modern preventative medicine, there remain significant challenges in vaccine distribution, delivery and compliance. Dissolvable microarray patches or dissolving microneedles (DMN) have been proposed as an innovative vaccine delivery platform that could potentially revolutionize vaccine delivery and circumvent many of the challenges faced with current vaccine strategies. DMN, due to their ease of use, lack of elicitation of pain response, self-disabling nature and ease of transport and distribution, offer an attractive delivery option for vaccines. Additionally, as DMN inherently targets the uppermost skin layers, they facilitate improved vaccine efficacy, due to direct targeting of skin antigen-presenting cells. A plethora of publications have demonstrated the efficacy of DMN vaccination for a range of vaccines, with influenza receiving particular attention. However, before the viable adoption of DMN for vaccination purposes in a clinical setting, a number of fundamental questions must be addressed. Accordingly, this review begins by introducing some of the key barriers faced by current vaccination approaches and how DMN can overcome these challenges. We introduce some of the recent advances in the field of DMN technology, highlighting the potential impact DMN could have, particularly in countries of the developing world. We conclude by reflecting on some of the key questions that remain unanswered and which warrant further investigation before DMNs can be utilized in clinical settings.

Keywords: microneedle patches, dissolvable, vaccine, cold chain, hazardous sharps waste, skin

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