This work describes the formulation and evaluation of dissolving microneedle patches (MNs) for intradermal delivery of heat-inactivated bacteria. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, strain PA01, was used as a model bacterium. Utilising a simple, cost effective fabrication process, P. aeruginosa was heat-inactivated and formulated into dissolving MNs, fabricated from aqueous blends of 20% w/w poly(methylvinylether/maleic acid). The resultant MNs were of sufficient mechanical strength to consistently penetrate a validated skin model Parafilm M®, inserting to a depth of between 254 - 381 µm. MNs were successfully inserted into murine skin and partially dissolved. Analysis of MN dissolution kinetics in murine ears via optical coherence tomography showed almost complete MN dissolution 5 min post-insertion. Mice were vaccinated using these optimised MNs by application of one MN to the dorsal surface of each ear (5 min). Mice were subsequently challenged intranasally (24 h) with a live culture of P. aeruginosa (2x106 colony forming units). Bacterial load in the lungs of mice vaccinated with P. aeruginosa MNs was significantly (p= 0.0059) lower than those of their unvaccinated counterparts. This proof of concept work demonstrates the potential of dissolving MNs for intradermal vaccination with heat-inactivated bacteria. MNs may be a cost effective, potentially viable delivery system, which could easily be implemented in developing countries, allowing a rapid and simplified approach to vaccinating against a specific pathogen.
- Vaccine, Skin, Heat-Inactivated Bacteria, Intradermal, Microneedle