2024 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Determining Structural Integrity of Dissolvable Microneedles

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Trevor Lujan and Dr. Juliette Tinker


The present study experimentally investigated the structural integrity of dissolvable sugar microneedles intended for vaccine delivery. Microneedle patches are a new technology that allows for self-administration of vaccines. Sugar microneedles are especially useful in this context since they dissolve after drug delivery. Ensuring that the microneedle patches were able to be compressed up to the dermis layer of skin, meaning that vaccines could be successfully delivered, was explored in this research. Compression testing was performed at loads varying from 10N, 20N and 30N to simulate the applied human force to apply the patches for real world vaccine delivery. The microneedle patches (n=3 for each load) were tested using the ElectroForce 5500 Series instrument. The testing protocol involved a ramp down to the desired load and a dwell at this load for 30s. The patches were compressed downward into 8 sheets of parafilm, to simulate layers of the skin. The microneedles were able to compress through a minimum of three layers of parafilm, indicating a successful delivery past the dermis layer of skin. From these force and displacement results, the stiffness values and moduli could be determined when able to measure the area and thickness of each individual microneedle patch.

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