Minimally invasive microneedles for ocular drug delivery

Raghu Thakur, Ismaiel Tekko, Kathryn McAvoy, Ryan F. Donnelly, Hannah McMillian, David Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
1510 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Anterior and posterior segment eye diseases are highly challenging to treat, due to the barrier properties and relative inaccessibility of the ocular tissues. Topical eye drops and systemically delivered treatments result in low bioavailability. Alternatively, direct injection of medication into the ocular tissues is clinically employed to overcome the barrier properties, but injections cause significant tissue damage and are associated with a number of untoward side effects and poor patient compliance. Microneedles (MNs) has been recently introduced as a minimally invasive means for localizing drug formulation within the target ocular tissues with greater precision and accuracy than the hypodermic needles.  Areas covered: This review article seeks to provide an overview of a range of challenges that are often faced to achieve efficient ocular drug levels within targeted tissue(s) of the eye. It also describes the problems encountered using conventional hypodermic needle-based ocular injections for anterior and posterior segment drug delivery. It discusses research carried out in the field of MNs, to date.
Expert opinion: MNs can aid in localization of drug delivery systems within the selected ocular tissue. And, hold the potential to revolutionize the way drug formulations are administered to the eye. However, the current limitations and challenges of MNs application warrant further research in this field to enable its widespread clinical application.  

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-537
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number4
Early online date03 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • Animals
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Eye Diseases/drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Needles
  • Ophthalmic Solutions/administration & dosage
  • Posterior Eye Segment/metabolism


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