Transdermal drug delivery offers a number of advantages for the patient, due not only its non-invasive and convenient nature, but also factors such as avoidance of first pass metabolism and prevention of gastrointestinal degradation. It has been demonstrated that microneedle arrays can increase the number of compounds amenable to transdermal delivery by penetrating the skin's protective barrier, the stratum corneum, and creating a pathway for drug permeation to the dermal tissue below. Microneedles have been extensively investigated in recent decades for drug and vaccine delivery as well as minimally invasive patient monitoring/diagnosis. This review focuses on a range of critically important aspects of microneedle technology, namely their material composition, manufacturing techniques, methods of evaluation and commercial translation to the clinic for patient benefit and economic return. Microneedle research and development is finally now at the stage where commercialisation is a realistic possibility. However, progress is still required in the areas of scaled-up manufacture and regulatory approval.