Transdermal delivery of vitamin K using dissolving microneedles for the prevention of vitamin K deficiency bleeding

A.R.J. Hutton, H.L. Quinn, P.J. McCague, C. Jarrahian, A. Rein-Weston, P.S. Coffey, E. Gerth-Guyette, D. Zehrung, E. Larrañeta, R.F. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Vitamin K deficiency within neonates can result in vitamin K deficiency bleeding. Ensuring that newborns receive vitamin K is particularly critical in places where access to health care and blood products and transfusions is limited. The World Health Organization recommends that newborns receive a 1 mg intramuscular injection of vitamin K at birth. Evidence from multiple surveillance studies shows that the introduction of vitamin K prophylaxis reduces the incidence of vitamin K deficiency bleeding. Despite these recommendations, coverage of vitamin K prophylactic treatment in low-resource settings is limited.

An intramuscular injection is the most common method of vitamin K administration in neonates. In low- and middle-income countries, needle sharing may occur, which may result in the spread of bloodborne diseases. The objective of our study was to investigate the manufacture of microneedles for the delivery of vitamin K. Following microneedle fabrication, we performed insertion studies to assess the microneedle’s mechanical properties. Results indicate that vitamin K in a microneedle array was successfully delivered in vitro across neonatal porcine skin with 1.80 ± 0.08 mg delivered over 24 h. Therefore, this initial study shows that microneedles do have the potential to prevent vitamin K deficiency bleeding. Future work will assess delivery of vitamin K in microneedle array in vivo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-63
Number of pages8
JournalInternational journal of pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 23 Feb 2018


  • Dissolving microneedles (MN)
  • Less economically developed countries (LEDCs)
  • Transdermal drug delivery
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB)


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