Research ArticleHEALTH AND MEDICINE

A microneedle platform for buccal macromolecule delivery

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Science Advances  22 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 4, eabe2620
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe2620

Abstract

Alternative means for drug delivery are needed to facilitate drug adherence and administration. Microneedles (MNs) have been previously investigated transdermally for drug delivery. To date, drug loading into MNs has been limited by drug solubility in the polymeric blend. We designed a highly drug-loaded MN patch to deliver macromolecules and applied it to the buccal area, which allows for faster delivery than the skin. We successfully delivered 1-mg payloads of human insulin and human growth hormone to the buccal cavity of swine within 30 s. In addition, we conducted a trial in 100 healthy volunteers to assess potential discomfort associated with MNs when applied in the oral cavity, identifying the hard palate as the preferred application site. We envisage that MN patches applied on buccal surfaces could increase medication adherence and facilitate the painless delivery of biologics and other drugs to many, especially for the pediatric and elderly populations.

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