Stimuli-Responsive Microneedle Arrays For On-Demand Drug Delivery

Eneko Larrañeta, John Hardy, Colin McCoy, Niamh McGoldrick, Katarzyna Migalska, Maeliosa McCrudden, Louise Donnelly, Ryan Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Pulsatile, or “on-demand”, delivery systems have the capability to deliver a therapeutic molecule at the right time/site of action and in the right amount (1). Pulsatile delivery systems present multiple benefits over conventional dosage forms and provide higher patient compliance. The combination of stimuli-responsive materials with the drug delivery capabilities of hydrogel-forming MN arrays (2) opens an interesting area of research. In the present work we describe, a stimuli-responsive hydrogel-forming microneedle (MN) array that enable delivery of a clinically-relevant model drug (ibuprofen) upon application of UV radiation (Figure 1A). MN arrays were prepared using a micromolding technique using a polymer prepared from 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) (Figure 1B). The arrays were loaded with up to 5% (w/w) ibuprofen included in a light-responsible conjugate (3,5-dimethoxybenzoin conjugate) (2). The presence of the conjugate inside the MN arrays was confirmed by Raman spectroscopy measurements. MN arrays were tested in vitro showing that they were able to deliver up to three doses of 50 mg of ibuprofen after application of an optical trigger (wavelength of 365 nm) over a long period of time (up to 160 hours) (Figure 1C and 1D). The work presented here is a probe of concept and a modified version of the system should be used as UV radiation is shown to be the major etiologic agent in the development of skin cancers. Consequently, for future applications of this technology an alternative design should be developed. Based on the previous research dealing with hydrogel forming MN arrays a suitable strategy will be to use hydrogel-forming MN arrays containing a backing layer made with the material described in this work as the drug reservoir (2). Finally, a porous layer of a material that blocks UV radiation should be included between the MN array and the drug reservoir. Therefore radiation can be applied to the system without reaching the skin surface. Therefore after modification, the system described here interesting properties as “on-demand” release system for prolonged periods of time. This technology has potential for use in “on-demand” delivery of a wide range of drugs in a variety of applications relevant to enhanced patient care.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventThe 4th International Conference on Microneedles - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 May 201425 May 2014


ConferenceThe 4th International Conference on Microneedles
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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