Coated microneedles for transdermal delivery

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Coated microneedles have been shown to deliver proteins and DNA into the skin in a minimally invasive manner. However, detailed studies examining coating methods and their breadth of applicability are lacking. This study's goal was to develop a simple, versatile and controlled microneedle coating process to make uniform coatings on microneedles and establish the breadth of molecules and particles that can be coated onto microneedles. First, microneedles were fabricated from stainless steel sheets as single microneedles or arrays of microneedles. Next, a novel micron-scale dip-coating process and a GRAS coating formulation were designed to reliably produce uniform coatings on both individual and arrays of microneedles. This process was used to coat compounds including calcein, vitamin B, bovine serum albumin and plasmid DNA. Modified vaccinia virus and microparticles of 1 to 20 μm diameter were also coated. Coatings could be localized just to the needle shafts and formulated to dissolve within 20 s in porcine cadaver skin. Histological examination validated that microneedle coatings were delivered into the skin and did not wipe off during insertion. In conclusion, this study presents a simple, versatile, and controllable method to coat microneedles with proteins, DNA, viruses and microparticles for rapid delivery into the skin.

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