Microneedles: an innovative platform for gene delivery

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The advent of microneedle (MN) technology has provided a revolutionary platform for the delivery of therapeutic agents, particularly in the field of gene therapy. For over 20 years, the area of gene therapy has undergone intense innovation and progression which has seen advancement of the technology from an experimental concept to a widely acknowledged strategy for the treatment and prevention of numerous disease states. However, the true potential of gene therapy has yet to be achieved due to limitations in formulation and delivery technologies beyond parenteral injection of the DNA. Microneedle-mediated delivery provides a unique platform for the delivery of DNA therapeutics clinically. It provides a means to overcome the skin barriers to gene delivery and deposit the DNA directly into the dermal layers, a key site for delivery of therapeutics to treat a wide range of skin and cutaneous diseases. Additionally, the skin is a tissue rich in immune sentinels, an ideal target for the delivery of a DNA vaccine directly to the desired target cell populations. This review details the advancement of MN-mediated DNA delivery from proof-of-concept to the delivery of DNA encoding clinically relevant proteins and antigens and examines the key considerations for the improvement of the technology and progress into a clinically applicable delivery system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-437
JournalDrug Delivery and Translational Research
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


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