The Use of a Pressure-Indicating Sensor Film to Provide Feedback upon Hydrogel-Forming Microneedle Array Self-Application In Vivo

Eva M. Vicente-Perez, Helen L. Quinn, Emma McAlister, Shannon O' Neill, Lezley-Anne Hanna, Johanne G. Barry, Ryan F. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
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To evaluate the combination of a pressure-indicating sensor film with hydrogel-forming microneedle arrays, as a method of feedback to confirm MN insertion in vivo.
Pilot in vitro insertion studies were conducted using a Texture Analyser to insert MN arrays, coupled with a pressure-indicating sensor film, at varying forces into excised neonatal porcine skin. In vivo studies involved twenty human volunteers, who self-applied two hydrogel-forming MN arrays, one with a pressure-indicating sensor film incorporated and one without. Optical coherence tomography was employed to measure the resulting penetration depth and colorimetric analysis to investigate the associated colour change of the pressure-indicating sensor film.
Microneedle insertion was achieved in vitro at three different forces, demonstrating the colour change of the pressure-indicating sensor film upon application of increasing pressure. When self-applied in vivo, there was no significant difference in the microneedle penetration depth resulting from each type of array, with a mean depth of 237 μm recorded. When the pressure-indicating sensor film was present, a colour change occurred upon each application, providing evidence of insertion.
For the first time, this study shows how the incorporation of a simple, low-cost pressure-indicating sensor film can indicate microneedle insertion in vitro and in vivo, providing visual feedback to assure the user of correct application. Such a strategy may enhance usability of a microneedle device and, hence, assist in the future translation of the technology to widespread clinical use.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Early online date15 Sep 2016
Publication statusEarly online date - 15 Sep 2016


  • Application
  • Feedback
  • Microneedles
  • Pressure-indicating sensor film
  • Transdermal


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