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Hollow metal microneedles for insulin delivery to diabetic rats

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4 Author(s)
Davis, S.P. ; Milliken Res. Corp., Spartanburg, SC, USA ; Martanto, W. ; Allen, M.G. ; Prausnitz, M.R.

The goal of this study was to design, fabricate, and test arrays of hollow microneedles for minimally invasive and continuous delivery of insulin in vivo. As a simple, robust fabrication method suitable for inexpensive mass production, we developed a modified-LIGA process to micromachine molds out of polyethylene terephthalate using an ultraviolet laser, coated those molds with nickel by electrodeposition onto a sputter-deposited seed layer, and released the resulting metal microneedle arrays by selectively etching the polymer mold. Mechanical testing showed that these microneedles were sufficiently strong to pierce living skin without breaking. Arrays containing 16 microneedles measuring 500 μm in length with a 75 μm tip diameter were then inserted into the skin of anesthetized, diabetic, hairless rats. Insulin delivery through microneedles caused blood glucose levels to drop steadily to 47% of pretreatment values over a 4-h insulin delivery period and were then approximately constant over a 4-h postdelivery monitoring period. Direct measurement of plasma insulin levels showed a peak value of 0.43 ng/ml. Together, these data suggest that microneedles can be fabricated and used for in vivo insulin delivery.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:52 ,  Issue: 5 )