CHEUNG, K. and DAS, D.B., 2015. Microneedles for drug delivery: trends and progress. Drug Delivery, doi: 10.3109/10717544.2014.986309.
In recent years there has been a surge in the research and development of microneedles, a transdermal delivery system that combines the technology of transdermal patches and hypodermic needles. The needles are in the hundreds of micron length range and therefore allow relatively little or no pain. For example, biodegradable microneedles have been researched in the literature and have several advantages compared to solid or hollow microneedles, as they produce non-sharp waste and can be designed to allow rapid or slow release of drugs. However they also pose a disadvantage as successful insertion into the stratum corneum layer of the skin relies on sufficient mechanical strength of the biodegradable material. This review looks at the various technologies developed in microneedle research and shows the rapidly growing numbers of research papers and patent publications since the first invention of microneedles (using time series statistical analysis). This provides the research and industry communities a valuable synopsis of the trends and progress being made in this field.