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Microneedles enhance drug administration through skin
Date:2/4/2008

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2008) − In what is believed to be the first peer-reviewed study of its kind involving human subjects, researchers at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy and the Georgia Institute of Technology have demonstrated that patches coated on one side with microscopic needles can facilitate transdermal delivery of clinically-relevant doses of a drug that normally cannot pass through the skin.

Reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study could help advance the use of microneedles as a painless method for delivering drugs, proteins, DNA and vaccines into the body. The research also found other advantages for the microneedles, including an ability to produce therapeutic drug levels with lower doses, and lowered production of metabolites that may cause side-effects.

This proof-of-concept study shows that microneedles work in humans for transdermal drug delivery, said Daniel Wermeling, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at UK's College of Pharmacy. Success with microneedles could cause us to rethink the convergence of the drug and delivery system and lead to a more integrated approach merging engineering with pharmaceutical technology.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the University of Kentucky Research Foundation.

This study represents an important landmark in the development of microneedles into drug delivery devices suitable for use in clinical medicine, said Mark Prausnitz, a professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. This method may be useful for a broad range of drugs that cannot normally be delivered without a hypodermic needle.

Transdermal drug delivery has proven successful in a number of applications, including pain management, congestive heart failure and hormone replacement. Transdermal administration offers advantages over o
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Contact: Ann Blackford
ann.blackford@uky.edu
859-323-6363
University of Kentucky
Source:Eurekalert  

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