Microarray patches: poking a hole in the challenges faced when delivering poorly soluble drugs

Alejandro J. Paredes, Peter E. McKenna, Inken K. Ramöller, Yara A. Naser, Fabiana Volpe‐Zanutto, Mingshan Li, M. T. A. Abbate, Li Zhao, Chunyang Zhang, Juhaina M. Abu‐Ershaid, Xianbing Dai, Ryan F. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
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Poorly soluble drugs constitute more than 60% of currently marketed pharmaceuticals with over two‐thirds of promising new chemical entities failing to enter a clinical setting due to solubility issues. Although oral formulations have made some impact, alternative enhancement strategies for administration of such molecules are actively sought. Over the last decade, innovation on a global scale has enabled the expansion of the frontiers of microarray patches (MAPs) further than ever before. Initially designed to load low doses of hydrophilic and potent therapeutic agents, MAPs are now becoming a viable strategy for the immediate and long‐acting delivery of poorly soluble drugs through the skin. This together with the advantages of transdermal administration over the oral and parenteral routes, make of MAPs an appealing platform for the development of products with increased patient compliance. Undoubtedly, MAPs will soon become a readily available therapeutic alternative, and experts from academia, industry and regulatory bodies are working together aiming to facilitate the progression of MAPs toward safe and effective clinical use. This review aims to highlight the ability of MAPs to deliver poorly soluble actives, discuss the mechanisms behind in‐skin drug absorption, and evaluate the future direction of the field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2005792
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number1
Early online date18 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 04 Jan 2021


  • Biomaterials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Chemical Engineering


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