Transdermal drug delivery: microfabrication insights
The paper presented an enhancement solution for transdermal drug delivery using microneedles array with biodegradable tips. The microneedles array was fabricated by using deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) and the biodegradable tips were made to be porous by electrochemical etching process. The porous silicon microneedle tips can greatly enhance the transdermal drug delivery in a minimum invasion, painless, and convenient manner, at the same time; they are breakable and biodegradable. Basically, the main problem of the silicon microneedles consists of broken microneedles tips during the insertion. The solution proposed is to fabricate the microneedle tip from a biodegradable material - porous silicon. The silicon microneedles are fabricated using DRIE notching effect of reflected charges on mask. The process overcomes the difficulty in the undercut control of the tips during the classical isotropic silicon etching process. When the silicon tips were formed, the porous tips were then generated using a classical electrochemical anodization process in MeCN/HF/H2O solution. The paper presents the experimental results of in vitro release of calcein and BSA with animal skins using a microneedle array with biodegradable tips. Compared to the transdermal drug delivery without any enhancer, the microneedle array had presented significant enhancement of drug release.