Nanotechnology needle arrays for future drug delivery

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Nanotechnology needle arrays for future drug delivery:

The researchers have discovered that significant portion of the drug in conventional drug delivery do not reach into their target site and as a result these drugs show a potential side effects due to deposition into other parts of the body excluding target site. In case of some toxic drugs like cancer the side effect produced in the body is highly significant.The ultimate goal of nanotechnology-enabled drug delivery, especially with regard to cancer therapy, is to reach most of the administered drug into the target region, while reducing the accumulation of the drug at any non-target tissues. There are different biological barriers like the skin, mucosal membranes, the blood-brain barrier and cell/nuclear membranes which potentially reduce the delivery of drugs into various target sites within the body. As a result these drugs show low efficacy and highly toxicity.To overcome these difficulties microneedle concept which is based on nanotechnology is emerging as a new prospect in modern drug delivery system.There are various application of micorneedles/nanoneedles which are going to be implemented in near future.Nanomedicine applications with targeted nanoparticles are expected to revolutionize cancer therapy. The use of such nanoparticles to deliver therapeutic agents is currently being studied as a promising method by which drugs can be effectively targeted to specific cells in the body, such as tumor cells.Nanomedicine researchers have developed numerous biological, chemical, and physical strategies to overcome these barriers.

Fig1: Schematic diagram of Nanotechnology based needle

Advantages of nanoneedle

1.The major advantage of microneedles is that when it is inserted into the skin it cross the stratum corneum. Conventional needles cannot pass this layer of skin very easily.Microneedle diameter is so short that it cannot effect the nerve endings and as a result it reduces pain, infection, and injury.

2.Microneedles can be fabricated with high accuracy, good reproducibility, and as well as moderate fabrication cost.

3.Hollow like hypodermic needle can be constructed with increasing permeability by creating holes in skin, rubbing desired drug over a particular area and coating of needles with desired drug.

4.Different hollow needles could be manufactured which continuously carry different drugs into the body using a very simple diffusion mechanism.

5.Hollow microneedles will be effective to clear fluid from the body system,blood glucose measurements and also they can supply insulin or other drug as required quantity. In addition very small nanoneedles could supply highly targeted drug administration to particular diseased cell.

6.The nanoneedles are highly capable of accurate dosing in a micro volume measurement that can be precisely guided and can be easily controlled.

Disadvantages of nanoneedles:

The following are the disadvantages of nanoneedles

1.To fabricate of these nanoneedles expensive materials and highly sophisticated production technologies such as deep reactive like ion etching (DRIE) and laser cutting technology are required

2.There is a highly possibility of breakage of the small part of nanoneedles inside the skin leads to various safety problems.

3.To overcome these disadvantages, one approach is to choose bio compatible and biodegradable polymers as the materials for manufacturing microneedle arrays.

Application of nanoneedle array

1.Transdermal delivery

2.The main idea of microneedle or nanoneedle array patches is to get a better vaccine efficiency and as well as effectiveness through its capacity of precise targeting of vaccines .

3.In future, nanoneedle arrays will be made of different kind of metals and nonmetals like silicon. The sizes of these nano needles are a few hundred nanometers with very sharp tips to confirm comfortable penetration into the epidermal and upper dermal layers of the skin membrane for the desired drug drug delivery. By using the these solid nanoneedles, desired drugs are mainly dry-coated on their surface for proper delivery to the skin.

4.Intracellular delivery

Different type of biomolecules like peptides, cell probes, genes, drugs, and proteins can be easily inserted into living body cells. This technology have significant importance for gene and cell therapy.

These therapies have great prospects in future for curing many serious diseases like cancer ,AIDS etc


1.Nanotechnology needle arrays for drug delivery.

2.Microneedles: an emerging transdermal drug delivery systemjphp_1369 11..29.Shital H. Bariyaa , Mukesh C. Gohelb , Tejal A. Mehtaa and Om Prakash Sharmaa.Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 64, pp. 11-29

About the Author

Anirbandeep Bose's picture

I am Dr. Anirbandeep Bose working as an Asst. Prof in Acharya and Bm Reddy college of Pharmacy ,Bangalore.Before that I worked as postdoctoral fellow in Pharmacy department of University Technology Mara(UiTM),Malaysia.I was awarded the post doctoral fellowship by the Malaysian higher education Ministry. Before that I got awarded PhD in Pharmaceutics from Jadavpur University,Kolkata,India. I worked as production chemist(Tablets and Capsule manufacturing) in BHP(1981)PVT. LTD for more than 2 years. I have more than 30 international publications related this field and attended many international conference.

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