Insertion-responsive microneedles for rapid intradermal delivery of canine influenza vaccine

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In this study, we present transcutaneous influenza vaccination using a novel tip-separable microneedle system called insertion-responsive microneedles (IRMNs). IRMNs are composed of dissolvable hyaluronic acid (HA) tips and biocompatible polycaprolactone (PCL) bases, the tip of which is instantly separated from the base during microneedle insertion and retraction. Vaccine antigens derived from canine influenza virus (A/canine/VC378/2012; H3N2) were successfully coated on HA tips by rapidly freezing the tips prior to coating. An ex vivo porcine skin insertion test showed that IRMNs were capable of penetrating the skin without tip breakage and releasing the coated materials within the skin. The thermal stability of the vaccine as determined by hemagglutination assay revealed that the coated vaccine partially maintained its activity when stored at 50 °C for 3 weeks, whereas the liquid form completely lost the activity. Immunization in guinea pigs showed that hemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibodies induced by IRMNs were two times higher than those induced by intramuscular (IM) injections. When challenged with influenza A/canine/Korea/01/2007 (H3N2) wild-type virus 2 weeks after the second vaccination, viral shedding was completely eliminated at 8 days post infection in both IRMNs and IM injection groups. Our results suggest that IRMNs have great potential for rapid and convenient vaccination, which will be particularly attractive for animal vaccinations.Graphical abstractHighlightsCanine influenza vaccine is coated on water-soluble tips of microneedles.Tip sharpness is maintained by freezing microneedles before vaccine coating.Vaccine coated on microneedles shows better thermal stability compared to solution.Rapid inoculation is achieved by immediate separation of vaccine-coated tips.Microneedle elicits antibody responses and reduces viral shedding in guinea pigs.

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