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

bjects had detectable levels of the drug in their bloodstream.

As part of the study, electrical resistance testing of the skin was done on separate subjects to determine how long the pores created by the microneedles remained open. Those tests suggested the drug could pass through treated skin for at least 48 hours before natural healing processes closed up the tiny punctures.

Beyond maintaining a steady level of the naltrexone, microneedle delivery may offer another advantage over oral administration: a reduction in the presence of compounds metabolized from the drug. The primary metabolite, known as naltrexol, is rapidly produced by the liver and intestines when the drug is administered orally, creating blood levels as much at ten times that of the parent drug which can cause undesirable side effects. With microneedle administration, however, the levels of naltrexol stayed well below those of the naltrexone.

During the first week of treatment using oral naltrexone, 10 to 20 percent of patients drop out of treatment because of side effects, Wermeling said. If you can change the way the parent drug is presented in a way that affects how the metabolites are formed, you could improve the safety or side effects of the drug.

Microneedle administration also reduced the amount of drug required to produce therapeutic levels, replacing a 50 milligram tablet with 10-12 milligrams of drug in the gel. Use of the microneedles also produced steady bloodstream levels of the drug, without the initial peak that occurs with oral delivery.

The study represents a first step in demonstrating the broad range of potential uses for microneedles, said Prausnitz, who has been developing the devices for more than ten years. In addition to Prausnitz, the Georgia Tech research team also included Harvinder Gill and Jyoti Gupta.

There are a number of ways in which microneedles can be used, Prausnitz noted. This study addressed the simplest use of microneedles in which t
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Contact: Ann Blackford
ann.blackford@uky.edu
859-323-6363
University of Kentucky
Source:Eurekalert  

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