Rapidly dissolving bilayer microneedle arrays – A minimally invasive transdermal drug delivery system for vitamin B12

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Abstract

Vitamin B12 plays an essential role in one-carbon metabolism in the human body. A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to severe haematopoietic and neuropsychiatric disorders and is currently treated by oral or parenteral administration of exogenous vitamin. Unfortunately, the absorption of orally taken vitamin B12 is low and highly variable, while injections can cause pain and anxiety. Thus, an efficient alternative drug delivery system for overcoming these shortcomings is highly desirable. Novel polymeric microneedle (MN) arrays have the potential for minimally invasive transdermal treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency. Bilayer dissolving MN arrays (19 x 19 needles, 600 µm height) containing 135 µg vitamin B12 were cast using two different aqueous polymer blends. MN arrays showed sufficient mechanical strength for skin insertion, dissolved rapidly and delivered 72.92% of their drug load in vitro over 5 h. Ultimately, the potential of delivering a therapeutically relevant dose of vitamin B12 transdermally was demonstrated in vivo in Sprague-Dawley rats by comparison to subcutaneous injections. Maximum plasma levels of 0.37 µg/mL occurred 30 min post-MN application, highlighting the ability of fabricated MN arrays to rapidly deliver vitamin B12 transdermally.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Early online date28 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 28 May 2019

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