Conductive microneedle patches
: developing new approaches to controlled drug delivery

  • Amy Devine

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Conventional controlled drug release methodologies largely centre around the encapsulation of therapeutics within a polymer or gel, where the physiological conditions in which the delivery vehicle is placed, results in their expulsion. The trigger is, more often than not, physio-chemical (i.e., pH or temperature) which interacts with the smart material, releasing the loaded drug. As of late, external stimuli have been explored (electrode potential, temperature, pH etc.) to trigger the release of loaded therapeutics. In this work, an electrochemical trigger is employed, which leads to the release of an attached drug, for use in the next generation of transdermal smart patches.

The approach is based on conductive polymer nanocomposite microneedle arrays where the conductivity is improved by anodisation, laser ablation and laser induced graphene. Following the tuning of the conductivity, various chemical tethers are employed (i.e., ether and ester bonds) which are broken following the application of an appropriate oxidative potential or control of local pH. The design and characterisation of the nanocomposite microneedle arrays, and chemical tethers are described, and the release of model drugs validated electrochemically and by UV-Visual spectrophotometry. The novel microneedle formulations are assessed for the degree of conductivity they provide as well as their structural merits and the novel chemical tethers critically appraised.
Date of AwardJun 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJames Davis (Supervisor)


  • Biomedical
  • Transdermal
  • Materials
  • Carbon
  • pH
  • Voltage
  • Smart

Cite this