Microneedles for medical innovations

Benefit from the design freedom, precision and printing power needed to produce precisely shaped microneedles and microneedle arrays with even sophisticated designs and custom materials. Nanoscribe's 3D Microfabrication technology is ideally suited for rapid prototyping, aligned printing, mastering and small batch production.

Benefit from resolution, printing performance & true shape accuracy

Microneedles are minimally invasive devices that are suitable for various use scenarios in medicine such as drug delivery, disease diagnosis and monitoring, and cosmetic applications. Microneedle geometry and shape have crucial influence in the microneedle performance and efficacy and their effective implementation into clinical trials. Novel and challenging designs require advanced and versatile microfabrication capabilities, in particular suitable materials, resolution, shape fidelity and printing speed.

Two-Photon Polymerization is an established technology for 3D printing on the microscale and offers the design freedom in 3D needed to microfabricate shape-accurate single microneedle and microneedle arrays.

top view of different microneedles printed with Quantum X bio

The versatility of this technology enables to create microneedles with a wide range of design features:

  • High-aspect ratio structures
  • Microneedle arrays with variable periodicity and spatial distribution
  • Solid and hollow needles with symmetric and freeform shapes
  • Sharp tips and smooth surfaces with nanometer precision
  • Made of polymers, including biocompatible and biodegradable photopolymers

Are you interested in more insights into Two-Photon Polymerization (2PP)?

Insights into microneedles industrialization

Microneedle and microneedle arrays are opening up a new chapter in miniaturized medical devices for pain-free transdermal drug delivery. A new review paper, written by Dr. Remmi Danae Baker-Sediako, Business Development Manager in Life Sciences at Nanoscribe, and colleagues, presents cutting-edge microneedle designs, microfabrication methods, and industrialization routes to mass production of microneedles.
A particular focus of the paper is on the potential and challenges of novel and biomimetic microneedle designs enabled by advanced additive manufacturing methods. The authors point out how microneedles can support personalized medicine concepts to increase drug delivery efficiency and reduce healing times for patient-centric care. In addition, the paper compares 3D printing technologies such as SLA, DLP and 2PP as promising technologies for microneedle fabrication.

Industrial perspectives for personalized microneedles
Remmi Danae Baker-Sediako et al., Beilstein J. Nanotechnol. 2023, 14, 857–864. 

overview of microneedles review paper

Shape your microneedle design according to your ideas

Our microfabrication technologies offer the capabilities needed to fabricate almost any microneedle design. Our printers are suitable for the fabrication of prototypes with rapid iteration cycles, enabling fast modification of the shapes during the development steps. Thus, height, tip radius, base diameter, needle geometry and thickness as well as needle density in an array can be tuned according to the needed application. Hollow or solid, symmetric or freeform, sharp or blunt tips, smooth or structured needle surfaces, small or really large arrays – materialize your design:

Get deeper insights into 3D printing based on Two-Photon Polymerization (2PP).

Microneedle designs for various applications

Nanoscribe’s microfabrication technologies are useful for rapid prototyping, aligned printing, mastering and small series production. The nano-, micro- and mesoscale structures can be used directly or serve as polymer masters for replication processes in industrial settings. Get inspired by the different use scenarios of microneedle designs:

Mastering of microneedle arrays

This study reports the fabrication of master microneedle arrays using Two-Photon Polymerization. Using replication processes, such as hot embossing, the scientists fabricated thermoplastic microneedles from cycloolefin polymers, this material has a high molding performance and low cost. The polymer microneedles were tested for transdermal drug delivery.
Use case: Mastering of microneedle arrays

3D printing of microneedles

This review presents advantages of 3D printing technology to engineer microneedles. The review discusses various 3D printing methods including Two-Photon Polymerization, advanced microneedles devices and the clinical translation and development outlook of microneedles using 3D printing.
Use case: 3D printing of microneedles

Microneedles against skin infections

Microneedles arrays with a water-insoluble support layer for the controlled drug administration are developed. The water-insoluble shafts are surrounded by drug-loaded water-soluble tips with high drug encapsulation. The developed vancomcycin-loaded microneedle arrays may be extended to several drugs and facility local treatment of skin infections.
Use case: Microneedle arrays against skin infections

Cutaneous vaccination

Scientists and engineers develop dissolving microneedle arrays for cutaneous vaccine delivery systems. The researchers use our 2PP-based 3D printers to print prototypes and masters of microneedle arrays that enable fabrication of dissolving microneedle arrays using replication processes. The microneedle arrays can support diverse immunization strategies.
Use case: Microneedle arrays for vaccination

Point-of-care drug delivery

Hollow microneedle arrays with open microfluidic channels and sharp tips are additively manufactured from a CAD model using Two-Photon Polymerization. To fabricate thermoplastic replicas, the needles are used as master for soft-embossing. The needles’ master is cast in a negative mold. After that, the mold is replicated by soft embossing into a thermoplastic cycloolefin polymer that was tested with agent delivery into a rabbit’s ear.
Use Case: Microneedles with open microfluidic channels

Painless blood collection

Researchers investigate bioinspired microneedles mimicking the mosquito’s proboscis for painless and easy insertion into the skin. The needles do not bend nor collapse due to reduced puncturing resistance. Using Nanoscribe’s 2PP-based 3D printers, microneedle halves of mm-length are printed with sharp tips, spikes and small holes. Two assembled halves advance alternately and can penetrate artificial skin to suck blood.
Use case: Bioinspired mm-long microneedles

In-vitro perforation

Scientists develop very sharp polymer microneedles specifically designed to perforate the round window membrane for inner ear delivery of therapeutics. The intricate microneedle design was fabricated with a tip radius of 500 nanometers and a shank radius of 50 µm.
Use case: Direct 3D-printed microneedles

Dissolving undercut microneedles integrating fluorescently-labeled vaccine components.
Dissolving undercut microneedles integrating fluorescently-labeled vaccine components. The needles were fabricated from 3D-printed master molds using replication processes. Image: Emrullah Korkmaz, University of Pittsburgh
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