Technology update: Dissolvable microneedle patches for vaccine delivery

Aoife M. Rodgers, Ana Sara Cordeiro, Ryan F. Donnelly*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
102 Downloads (Pure)


Despite vaccination representing one of the greatest advances of modern preventative medicine, there remain significant challenges in vaccine distribution, delivery and compliance. Dissolvable microarray patches or dissolving microneedles (DMN) have been proposed as an innovative vaccine delivery platform that could potentially revolutionize vaccine delivery and circumvent many of the challenges faced with current vaccine strategies. DMN, due to their ease of use, lack of elicitation of pain response, self-disabling nature and ease of transport and distribution, offer an attractive delivery option for vaccines. Additionally, as DMN inherently targets the uppermost skin layers, they facilitate improved vaccine efficacy, due to direct targeting of skin antigen-presenting cells. A plethora of publications have demonstrated the efficacy of DMN vaccination for a range of vaccines, with influenza receiving particular attention. However, before the viable adoption of DMN for vaccination purposes in a clinical setting, a number of fundamental questions must be addressed. Accordingly, this review begins by introducing some of the key barriers faced by current vaccination approaches and how DMN can overcome these challenges. We introduce some of the recent advances in the field of DMN technology, highlighting the potential impact DMN could have, particularly in countries of the developing world. We conclude by reflecting on some of the key questions that remain unanswered and which warrant further investigation before DMNs can be utilized in clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-398
Number of pages20
JournalMedical Devices: Evidence and Research
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2019


  • Microneedle patches
  • Dissolvable
  • Vaccine
  • Cold chain
  • Hazardous sharps waste
  • Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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