Engineering of tetanus toxoid-loaded polymeric microneedle patches

Muhammad Sohail Arshad, Shafaq Gulfam, Saman Zafar, Najmusama Abdul Jalil, Nadia Ahmad, Omar Qutachi, Ming-Wei Chang, Neenu Singh, Zeeshan Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study is aimed to fabricate tetanus toxoid laden microneedle patches by using a polymeric blend comprising of polyvinyl pyrrolidone and sodium carboxymethyl cellulose as base materials and sorbitol as a plasticizer. The tetanus toxoid was mixed with polymeric blend and patches were prepared by using vacuum micromolding technique. Microneedle patches were evaluated for physical attributes such as uniformity of thickness, folding endurance, and swelling profile. Morphological features were assessed by optical and scanning electron microscopy. In vitro performance of fabricated patches was studied by using bicinchoninic acid assay (BCA). Insertion ability of microstructures was studied in vitro on model skin parafilm and in vivo in albino rat. In vivo immunogenic activity of the formulation was assessed by recording immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels, interferon gamma (IFN-γ) levels, and T-cell (CD4 + and CD8 +) count following the application of dosage forms. Prepared patches, displaying sharp-tipped and smooth-surfaced microstructures, remained intact after 350 ± 36 foldings. Optimized microneedle patch formulation showed ~ 74% swelling and ~ 85.6% vaccine release within an hour. The microneedles successfully pierced parafilm. Histological examination of microneedle-treated rat skin confirmed disruption of epidermis without damaging the underneath vasculature. A significant increase in IgG levels (~ 21%), IFN-γ levels (~ 30%), CD4 + (~ 41.5%), and CD8 + (~ 48.5%) cell count was observed in tetanus vaccine-loaded microneedle patches treated albino rats with respect to control (untreated) group at 42nd day of immunization. In conclusion, tetanus toxoid-loaded microneedle patches can be considered as an efficient choice for transdermal delivery of vaccine without inducing pain commonly experienced with hypodermic needles. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalDrug Delivery and Translational Research
Early online date17 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 17 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the financial support provided by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan under National Research Program for Universities (NRPU) vide No. 7401/Punjab/NRPU/R&D/HEC/2017.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Controlled Release Society.


  • Bicinchoninic acid assay
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Flow cytometry
  • Microneedles
  • Tetanus toxoid vaccine
  • Carboxymethyl cellulose
  • Interferon gamma
  • Immunization
  • Polyvinyl pyrrolidone


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