Nanoemulsion-based dissolving microneedle arrays for enhanced intradermal and transdermal delivery

Muhammad Iqbal Nasiri, Lalitkumar K Vora, Juhaina Abu Ershaid, Ke Peng, Ismaiel A Tekko, Ryan F Donnelly

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The development of dissolving microneedles (DMN) is one of the advanced technologies in transdermal drug delivery systems, which precisely deliver the drugs through a rapid dissolution of polymers after insertion into the skin. In this study, we fabricated nanoemulsion-loaded dissolving microneedle (DMN) arrays for intradermal and transdermal drug delivery. For this task, model drug (amphotericin B, AmB)-loaded nanoemulsion (NE) were prepared by the probe-sonication method. AmB-loaded-NE was prepared using Capmul MCM C-8 EP/NF, Tween® 80, poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA-10 kDa), and poly (vinyl pyrrolidone) (PVP-360 kDa or K29/32) by using SpeedMixer™, followed by probe-sonication and evaluated for particle size and polydispersity index (PDI). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was also used to assess the particle size before and after DMN casting. AmB-NE embedded DMN arrays were found to be strong enough, revealed efficient skin insertion, and penetrated down to the fourth layer (depth ≈ 508 μm) of Parafilm M® (validated skin model). Ex vivo skin deposition experiments in full-thickness neonatal porcine demonstrated that after 24 h, AmB-NE-DMN arrays were able to deposit 111.05 ± 48.4 µg/patch AmB into the skin. At the same time, transdermal porcine skin permeation studies showed significantly higher permeability of AmB (29.60 ± 8.23 μg/patch) from AmB-NE-DMN compared to MN-free AmB-NE patches (5.0 ± 6.15 μg/patch) over 24 h. Antifungal studies of optimized AmB-NE-DMN, AmB-loaded discs and drug-free DMN against Candida albicans, confirmed the synergistic activity of Campul-MCM C-8, used in the nanoemulsion formulation. This study establishes that nanoemulsion based dissolving microneedle may serve as an efficient system for intradermal as well as transdermal drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881–896
JournalDrug Delivery and Translational Research
Early online date22 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2021. The Author(s).


  • Amphotericin B
  • Dissolving-microneedles
  • Nanoemulsion
  • Transdermal Delivery
  • synergistic effect


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