Long-acting microneedle formulations

Lalitkumar K. Vora, Akmal H. Sabri, Yara Naser, Achmad Himawan, Aaron R.J. Hutton, Qonita Kurnia Anjani, Fabiana Volpe-Zanutto, Deepakkumar Mishra, Mingshan Li, Aoife M. Rodgers, Alejandro J. Paredes, Eneko Larrañeta, Raghu Raj Singh Thakur, Ryan F. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The minimally-invasive and painless nature of microneedle (MN) application has enabled the technology to obviate many issues with injectable drug delivery. MNs not only administer therapeutics directly into the dermal and ocular space, but they can also control the release profile of the active compound over a desired period. To enable prolonged delivery of payloads, various MN types have been proposed and evaluated, including dissolving MNs, polymeric MNs loaded or coated with nanoparticles, fast-separable MNs hollow MNs, and hydrogel MNs. These intricate yet intelligent delivery platforms provide an attractive approach to decrease side effects and administration frequency, thus offer the potential to increase patient compliance. In this review, MN formulations that are loaded with various therapeutics for long-acting delivery to address the clinical needs of a myriad of diseases are discussed. We also highlight the design aspects, such as polymer selection and MN geometry, in addition to computational and mathematical modeling of MNs that are necessary to help streamline and develop MNs with high translational value and clinical impact. Finally, up-scale manufacturing and regulatory hurdles along with potential avenues that require further research to bring MN technology to the market are carefully considered. It is hoped that this review will provide insight to formulators and clinicians that the judicious selection of materials in tandem with refined design may offer an elegant approach to achieve sustained delivery of payloads through the simple and painless application of a MN patch.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115055
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalAdvanced drug delivery reviews
Early online date17 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Oct 2023

Data Access Statement

No data was used for the research described in the article.


  • Microneedles
  • Long-acting drug delivery
  • Controlled release
  • Sustained release
  • Intradermal route
  • Transdermal route
  • Ocular delivery


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