Novel systems for transdermal and intradermal drug delivery

  • Essyrose Mathew

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


3D Printing (3DP) is an emerging method of manufacturing that has been gaining interest in the field of medical applications. In the area of transdermal drug delivery there has been a need for a faster and more reliable method of manufacturing of microneedle array patches. Microneedles are comprised of micron sized, needle like projections on a base plate that allow the stratum corneum to be bypassed when applied, without causing pain. Current manufacturing methods of microneedle arrays often hinder the potential for novel designs to be easily explored. Therefore, 3D printing has gained increasing interest for microneedle manufacture.

In the present thesis, a Digital Light processing 3D printing approach is used to manufacture a hollow microneedle system with the aim to create a reproducible, mechanically strong microneedle system. Initially, Solid microneedles were printed using three resin-based printers in order to evaluate each printer’s ability to produce micron scale devices.

A reservoir-based system with luer lock attachment was designed and printed to create a delivery device using hollow microneedles. Previous reservoir-based systems have required multiple print steps. In this research, a single print cycle for the printing of the reservoir based luer lock system was explored. Printed luer lock system was characterised using a range of techniques including contact angle, mechanical fracture testing, syringeability to assess the force required to push fluids of varying viscosity through the system, insertion capabilities into porcine skin and biocompatibility of the printed material.

Thesis is embargoed until 31 July 2026.

Date of AwardJul 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SponsorsNorthern Ireland Department for the Economy & AstraZeneca Plc
SupervisorDimitrios Lamprou (Supervisor), Ryan Donnelly (Supervisor) & Eneko Larrañeta (Supervisor)


  • Microneedles
  • microarray patches
  • 3D printing
  • pharmaceutical technology
  • pharmacy
  • transdermal delivery

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