Silicon microneedle (MN) arrays were used to puncture excised murine and porcine skin in vitro and transdermal and intradermal delivery of meso-tetra (N-methyl-4-pyridyl) porphine tetra tosylate (TMP) investigated using topical application of a bioadhesive patch containing 19 mg TMP cm(-2). Animal studies, using nude mice, were then conducted to investigate the in vivo performance of the bioadhesive patch following MN puncture of skin. MN puncture significantly enhanced both intradermal and transdermal delivery of TMP in vitro, though the total amounts of drug delivered (25.22% into porcine skin and 0.07% across murine skin) were still quite small in each case. Notwithstanding this, in vivo experiments showed that MN puncture was capable of permitting a prolonged increase in TMP fluorescence at the site of application. Importantly, fluorescence was negligible at distant sites, meaning systemic delivery of the drug was not sufficient to induce TMP accumulation other than at the application site. In this study we have conclusively demonstrated proof of principle; MN puncture allows true intradermal delivery of a preformed photosensitizer in animal skin models in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, transdermal delivery was much reduced in each case. Increasing MN density would allow increased amounts of photosensitizer to be delivered. However, as MNs create aqueous pores in the stratum corneum, a preformed photosensitizer must possess at least some degree of water solubility in order to permit enhanced intradermal delivery in this way. We believe that use of MN array technology in this way has the potential to significantly improve topical photodynamic therapy of skin tumors.
Donnelly, R. F., Morrow, D. I. J., McCarron, P., Woolfson, A. D., Morrissey, A., Juzenas, P., Juzeniene, A., Iani, V., McCarthy, H. O., & Moan, J. (2009). Microneedle Arrays Permit Enhanced Intradermal Delivery of a Preformed Photosensitizer. Photochemistry and Photobiology, 85(1), 195-204. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-1097.2008.00417.x