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Open Access Enhanced Delivery of Topically-Applied Formulations Following Skin Pre-Treatment with a Hand-Applied, Plastic Microneedle Array

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The purpose of this work is to characterize microchannels created by polymeric microneedles, applied by hand, and to demonstrate enhanced delivery of topically applied formulations of lidocaine hydrochloride and methylprednisolone sodium succinate (MPSS). 3M's Microstructured Transdermal System (MTS) arrays were applied to domestic swine to demonstrate reliability of penetration, depth of penetration and durability of the structures to repeat application and high force. Tissue levels of lidocaine and MPSS following topical application with and without microneedle pretreatment were determined by HPLC-MS analysis following digestion of biopsies. Almost all microneedles penetrate the stratum corneum upon hand force application. The depth of penetration varies from <100μm to nearly 150μm depending on the application force and the firmness of the underlying tissue. The arrays show excellent durability to repeated in-vivo application, with less than 5% of the structures evidencing even minimal tip bending after 16 applications. Under extreme force against a rigid surface, the microneedles bend but do not break. A lidocaine hydrochloride formulation applied topically in-vivo showed ∼340% increase in local tissue levels when the MTS arrays were used to twice pre-treat the skin prior to applying the drug. Local delivery of a topically applied formulation of MPSS was over one order of magnitude higher when the application site was twice pre-treated with the MTS array. 3M's MTS array (marketed as 3M™ Microchannel Skin System) provides repeatable and robust penetration of the stratum corneum and epidermis and enhances delivery of some formulations such as lidocaine hydrochloride.

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Keywords: Dermis; absorption; dermal; drug delivery; epidermis; lidocaine; microneedles; microporation; skin; stratum corneum; stratum corneum penetration; transdermal

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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  • The aim of Current Drug Delivery is to publish peer-reviewed articles, short communications, short and in-depth reviews in the rapidly developing field of drug delivery. Modern drug research aims to build in delivery properties of a drug at the design phase, however in many cases this ideal cannot be met and the development of delivery systems becomes as important as the development as the drugs themselves.

    The journal aims to cover the latest outstanding developments in drug and vaccine delivery employing physical, physico-chemical and chemical methods. The drugs include a wide range of bioactive compounds from simple pharmaceuticals to peptides, proteins, nucleotides, nucleosides and sugars. The journal will also report progress in the fields of transport routes and mechanisms including efflux proteins and multi-drug resistance.

    The journal is essential for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug design, development and delivery.
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