The role of microneedle arrays in drug delivery and patient monitoring to prevent diabetes induced fibrosis

E. McAlister, M. Kirkby, J. Domínguez-Robles, A.J. Paredes, Q.K. Anjani, K. Moffatt, L.K. Vora, Aaron R.J. Hutton, P.E. McKenna, E. Larrañeta, R.F. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Diabetes affects approximately 450 million adults globally. If not effectively managed, chronic hyperglycaemia causes tissue damage that can develop into fibrosis. Fibrosis leads to end-organ complications,
failure of organ systems occurs, which can ultimately cause death. One strategy to tackle end-organ complications is to maintain normoglycaemia. Conventionally, insulin is administered subcutaneously.
Whilst effective, this delivery route shows several limitations, including pain. The transdermal route is
a favourable alternative. Microneedle (MN) arrays are minimally invasive and painless devices that can
enhance transdermal drug delivery. Convincing evidence is provided on MN-mediated insulin delivery.
MN arrays can also be used as a diagnostic tool and monitor glucose levels. Furthermore, sophisticated
MN array-based systems that integrate glucose monitoring and drug delivery into a single device have
been designed. Therefore, MN technology has potential to revolutionise diabetes management. This
review describes the current applications of MN technology for diabetes management and how these
could prevent diabetes induced fibrosis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113825
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalAdvanced drug delivery reviews
Early online date7 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Aug 2021


  • Diabetes
  • End-organ complications
  • Microneedle-mediated transdermal delivery
  • Minimally invasive devices
  • Insulin delivery systems
  • Glucose monitoring
  • Interstitial fludi


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