Bio-inspired microneedle design for efficient drug/vaccine coating

Cristina Plamadeala, Saransh R. Gosain, Florian Hischen, Boris Buchroithner, Sujitha Puthukodan, Jaroslaw Jacak, Andrea Bocchino, Derek Whelan, Conor O’Mahony, Werner Baumgartner, Johannes Heitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Biomimetics is the interdisciplinary scientific field focused on the study and imitation of biological systems, with the aim of solving complex technological problems. In this paper, we present a new bio-inspired design for microneedles (MNs) and MN arrays, intended for rapidly coating the MNs with drug/vaccine. The biomimetic approach consists in ornamenting the lateral sides of pyramidal MNs with structures inspired by the external scent efferent systems of some European true bugs, which facilitate a directional liquid transport. To realize these MNs, two-photon polymerization (TPP) technique was used. Liquid coating capabilities of structured and non-structured MNs were compared. Moreover, both in-vivo and ex-vivo skin tests were performed to prove that MNs pierce the skin. We show that the arrays of MNs can be accurately replicated using a micro-moulding technique. We believe this design will be beneficial for the process of drug/vaccine loading onto the needles’ surfaces, by making it more efficient and by reducing the drug/vaccine wastage during MN coating process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Pages (from-to)8
JournalBiomedical Microdevices
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2019


  • Biomimetics
  • Directed fluid transport
  • Microfluidics
  • Microneedles
  • Two-photon polymerization
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations/chemistry
  • Biomimetics/instrumentation
  • Needles
  • Vaccines/chemistry
  • Equipment Design

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