Pullulan-based dissolving microneedle arrays for enhanced transdermal delivery of small and large biomolecules

Lalitkumar K. Vora, Aaron J. Courtenay, Ismaiel A. Tekko, Eneko Larrañeta, Ryan F. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)
118 Downloads (Pure)


One specific technological advance in transdermal drug delivery is the development of dissolving microneedles (DMNs), which efficiently deliver therapeutics through a rapid dissolution of polymers after penetration into the skin. However, there is a limited range of water soluble, biodegradable polymers that can be used to manufacture DMN. Here, we report for the first time, the preparation and characterisation of a DMN system from the carbohydrate biopolymer, pullulan (PL). PL gels, of varying concentration, were studied for viscosity, film formation properties, and subsequently, microneedle formation. Model molecules and protein/peptide were loaded into PL DMN and characterised. The stability of model biomolecules, such as FITC-BSA and insulin, following DMN manufacture were assessed using circular dichroism. Ex-vivo porcine skin permeation studies using Franz diffusion cell apparatus for Flu-Na and FITC-BSA loaded PL-DMN were conducted. This study demonstrates that PL DMNs may serve as a promising tool for efficient transdermal drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-298
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Early online date26 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Mar 2020


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