The Role of 3D Printing Technology in Microengineering of Microneedles

U. Detamornrat, E. McAlister, A.R.J. Hutton, E. Larrañeta, R.F. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Microneedles (MNs) are minimally invasive devices, which have gained extensive interest over the past decades in various fields including drug delivery, disease diagnosis, monitoring, and cosmetics. MN geometry and shape are key parameters that dictate performance and therapeutic efficacy, however, traditional fabrication methods, such as molding, may not be able to offer rapid design modifications. In this regard, the fabrication of MNs using 3D printing technology enables the rapid creation of complex MN prototypes with high accuracy and offers customizable MN devices with a desired shape and dimension. Moreover, 3D printing shows great potential in producing advanced transdermal drug delivery systems and medical devices by integrating MNs with a variety of technologies. This review aims to demonstrate the advantages of exploiting 3D printing technology as a new tool to microengineer MNs. Various 3D printing methods are introduced, and representative MNs manufactured by such approaches are highlighted in detail. The development of advanced MN devices is also included. Finally, clinical translation and future perspectives for the development of MNs using 3D printing are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2106392
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
Issue number18
Early online date31 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 31 Mar 2022


  • 3D printing
  • additive manufacturing
  • drug delivery
  • medical device
  • microneedle


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