In vivostudies investigating biodistribution of nanoparticle-encapsulated rhodamine B deliveredviadissolving microneedles

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Abstract

Nanoparticles (NPs) have undergone extensive investigation as drug delivery and targeting vehicles. NP delivery is often via the parenteral route, reliant on administration using hypodermic needles, which can be associated with patient compliance issues and safety concerns. In the recent past, the intradermal delivery of NPs, via novel dissolving microneedle (MN) arrays has garnered interest in the pharmaceutical community. However, published studies using this combinatorial approach have been limited, in that they have focussed on the use of in vitro and ex vivo models only. The current study was designed to answer the fundamental question of how such NPs are distributed in an in vivo murine model, following MN-mediated delivery. Rhodamine B (RhB) was employed as a model tracer dye to facilitate study of biodistribution. Following MN application, RhB was detected in the livers, kidneys, spleens and superficial parotid lymph nodes of the mice. Uptake into the lymphatics was of particular note, as it points towards the potential for utilisation of a minimally-invasive MN delivery strategy in controlled targeting of active drug substances and vaccines to the lymphatics. The use of such a delivery system could, following further development, have far-reaching benefits in enhancement of immunomodulatory and anti-cancer therapies. As a consequence, further investigation of MN/NP combinatorial delivery strategies is warranted.

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