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Microsyst Technol. 2014 Jun 1;20(6):1169-1179.

A novel microneedle array for the treatment of hydrocephalus.

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  • 1Division of Mechanical Design Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Korea.
  • 2Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, Drexel University.
  • 3College of Medicine, Drexel University.
  • 4Neurological Surgery, College of Medicine, Drexel University.


We present a microfabricated 10 by 10 array of microneedles for the treatment of a neurological disease called communicating hydrocephalus. Together with the previously reported microvalve array, the current implantable microneedle array completes the microfabricated arachnoid granulations (MAGs) that mimic the function of normal arachnoid granulations (AGs). The microneedle array was designed to enable the fixation of the MAGs through dura mater membrane in the brain and thus provide a conduit for the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Cone-shaped microneedles with hollow channels were fabricated using a series of microfabrication techniques: SU-8 photolithography for tapered geometry, reactive ion etching for sharpening the microneedles, 248 nm deep UV excimer laser machining for creating through-hole inside the microneedles, and metal sputtering for improved rigidity. Puncture tests were conducted using porcine dura mater and the results showed that the fabricated microneedle array is strong enough to pierce the dura mater. The in-vitro biocompatibility test result showed that none of the 100 outlets of the microneedles exposed to the bloodstream were clogged significantly by blood cells. We believe that these test results demonstrate the potential use of the microneedle array as a new treatment of hydrocephalus.


cerebrospinal fluid; communicating hydrocephalus; dura mater; microfabrication; microneedle

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