Microneedle technology has applications in a number of different medical devices and drug delivery systems. We use the term Microneedle Array Patch (MAP) to describe delivery systems for drugs or vaccines that are intended for application to the skin and which incorporate the active pharmaceutical ingredient within the delivery system, as highlighted in the figure below. The products are often sub-categorised into different groups, depending on the mode of action i.e.: ‘coat and poke’, ‘poke and dissolve’ and ‘poke and release’, as described by Prausnitz (2017) in Annual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
Adapted from Prausnitz MR. Annu Rev Chem Biomol Eng. 2017;8:177‐200 and reproduced with permission from the Annual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Volume 8 © 2017 by Annual Reviews, http://www.annualreviews.org
Global interest in MAP product development is summarized in an infographic map of MAP developers. PATH also maintains a MAP Resources website, which is an online hub of technical information and resources. It functions as a channel to help disseminate project information and milestones as well as share newly published peer-reviewed journal articles from the global community of MAP researchers.
Examples of MAP products
Intensive research in the field has led to a number of clinical trials using MAP products. The image gallery provides examples of MAP products that are currently in clinical development.