Nov. 17, 2003 — A Georgia Institute of Technology research team says that microneedles being developed today could offer less painful and more effective therapy for clinical use within five years.
The team, whose work is to be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, have developed manufacturing processes for mass-producing microneedles from inexpensive metal and polymer materials. The hollow and solid needles allow for delivery of nanoparticles.
The devices’ safety and effectiveness still must be clinically proven, but the small-scale studies have shown that microneedles can be less painful than conventional hypodermic needles. Researchers said the microneedles could be part of a drug-delivery system that combines the ease of delivery offered by conventional needles and the more patient-friendly approach of a patch.