Hydrogel-forming microneedle array patches (MAPs) have been proposed as viable clinical tools for patient monitoring purposes, providing an alternative to traditional methods of sample acquisition, such as venepuncture and intradermal sampling. They are also undergoing investigation in the management of non-melanoma skin cancers. In contrast to drug or vaccine delivery, when only a small number of MAP applications would be required, hydrogel MAPs utilised for sampling purposes or for tumour eradication would necessitate regular, repeat applications. Therefore, the current study was designed to address one of the key translational aspects of MAP development, namely patient safety. We demonstrate, for the first time in human volunteers, that repeat MAP application and wear does not lead to prolonged skin reactions or prolonged disruption of skin barrier function. Importantly, concentrations of specific systemic biomarkers of inflammation (C-reactive protein (CRP); tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)); infection (interleukin-1β (IL-1β); allergy (immunoglobulin E (IgE)) and immunity (immunoglobulin G (IgG)) were all recorded over the course of this fixed study period. No biomarker concentrations above the normal, documented adult ranges were recorded over the course of the study, indicating that no systemic reactions had been initiated in volunteers. Building upon the results of this study, which serve to highlight the safety of our hydrogel MAP, we are actively working towards CE marking of our MAP technology as a medical device.
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Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis › Doctor of Philosophy