Dissolving microneedle based transdermal delivery of therapeutic peptide analogues

C. Dillon, H. Hughes, N.J. O'Reilly, C.J. Allender, David Barrow, P. McLoughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Microneedle technology offers a viable means of delivering biologically active pharmaceutical agents across the skin in a minimally invasive and virtually pain free manner. Previous work detailed the first successful transdermal delivery of a model peptide drug, polymyxin b, utilising a dissolving polymer-based microneedle system. The focus of this study was to examine the ability of a dissolving microneedle system to deliver a range of peptides of different sizes and properties. Analogue versions of 2 existing therapeutic peptides; pentagastrin and sincalide, were synthesised utilising Fmoc based solid phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) chemistry techniques and once successfully synthesised and purified, the peptide analogues were characterised using LC-MS. The peptide analogues were then incorporated into PVP/trehalose microneedle formulations. Skin permeation testing, in addition to skin penetration testing, was carried out to determine the effectiveness of the microneedle system to deliver the peptide analogues through porcine skin. The results obtained from these studies were then compared with the permeation results obtained utilising polymyxin B as the peptide drug cargo to evaluate the PVP/trehalose microneedle system's suitability to successfully deliver therapeutic peptides. Results indicated that the microneedle system successfully systemically delivered a higher overall percentage of the encapsulated peptides at an initially faster rate than peptide loaded control discs and in therapeutically relevant concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2019


  • Microneedles
  • PVP
  • Pentagastrin
  • Peptides
  • Sincalide
  • Transdermal
  • Trehalose


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