Microneedle-mediated vaccine delivery: harnessing cutaneous immunobiology to improve efficacy

Sharifa Al-Zahrani, Marija Zaric, Cian McCrudden, Chris Scott, Adrien Kissenpfennig, Ryan F Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Breaching the skin's stratum corneum barrier raises the possibility of the administration of vaccines, gene vectors, antibodies and even nanoparticles, all of which have at least their initial effect on populations of skin cells. AREAS COVERED: Intradermal vaccine delivery holds enormous potential for improved therapeutic outcomes for patients, particularly those in the developing world. Various vaccine-delivery strategies have been employed, which are discussed in this review. The importance of cutaneous immunobiology on the effect produced by microneedle-mediated intradermal vaccination is also discussed. EXPERT OPINION: Microneedle-mediated vaccines hold enormous potential for patient benefit. However, in order for microneedle vaccine strategies to fulfill their potential, the proportion of an immune response that is due to the local action of delivered vaccines on skin antigen-presenting cells, and what is due to a systemic effect from vaccines reaching the systemic circulation, must be determined. Moreover, industry will need to invest significantly in new equipment and instrumentation in order to mass-produce microneedle vaccines consistently. Finally, microneedles will need to demonstrate consistent dose delivery across patient groups and match this to reliable immune responses before they will replace tried-and-tested needle-and-syringe-based approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-50
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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