Microneedle delivery: clinical studies and emerging medical applications

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The concept of microneedle drug delivery was described three decades ago; however, effective clinical demonstration has only occurred within the past 10–15 years. Substantial progress in microneedle design and fabrication including extensive in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo preclinical evaluation with various drugs, vaccines and other agents has transpired over the last decade. In contrast with this large volume of preclinical data, there are relatively few published microneedle clinical studies. To date, the clinical investigative focus has included testing to reduce dermal barrier properties and enhance transdermal delivery; evaluation of enhanced vaccine antigenicity, including development of the first commercial microneedle product for intradermal influenza vaccination; evaluation of altered microneedle protein pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, especially for insulin; and evaluation of the pain and other perceptions associated with microneedle usage. This review summarizes the various aspects of microneedle clinical evaluation to date and identifies areas requiring further clinical evaluation.

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