Microneedles are gaining traction as a means to enhance trans-dermal vaccine delivery by creating tiny pores in the skin, improving permeability, and reducing patient discomfort.
The study focuses on antigen-presenting cells (APCs), specifically Langerhans cells in the epidermis and dermal dendritic cells in the dermis, which are crucial for initiating immune responses. This makes transdermal vaccine delivery a promising approach for disease control.
Six microneedle shapes were investigated: circular cone, square cone, triangular cone, cylinder with a sharp tip, rectangular with a sharp tip, and arrowhead. These microneedles were arranged in a square array, with parameters like length and base radius defining their geometry.
The finite element model considered factors like antigen release via diffusion, receptor-antigen binding kinetics, antigen internalization by cells, and antigen uptake by blood vessels. It provided insights into how vaccines interact with the skin.
Key Findings include the significant influence of microneedle shape on APC activation in both the epidermis and dermis. The rectangular microneedle with a sharp tip stood out as the most efficient in vaccine delivery due to its larger surface area, allowing it to hold more antigen and activate more APCs.
The microneedles were ranked in terms of efficiency, with the rectangular microneedle with a sharp tip at the top, followed by the cylindrical microneedle with a sharp tip, square conical, arrowhead, circular conical, and triangular conical.
The study revealed that the distribution of coated antigen in the skin layers was affected by microneedle shape, impacting APC activation.
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In summary, microneedle geometry plays a crucial role in improving transdermal vaccine delivery efficiency. The rectangular microneedle with a sharp tip proved to be the most effective, primarily due to its larger surface area and higher antigen capacity. This research could lead to more efficient and patient-friendly vaccination methods, potentially revolutionizing immunization practices.
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Ref: Noppamas Yolai, Pikkanet Suttirat, Jeerapond Leelawattanachai, Chaiwoot Boonyasiriwat & Charin Modchang (2023) Finite element analysis and optimization of microneedle arrays for transdermal vaccine delivery: comparison of coated and dissolving microneedles, Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, 26:12, 1379-1387, DOI: 10.1080/10255842.2022.2116576
Written by Santiago Olmos Herrera